A direct mail campaign which proves that you absolutely love gossip

#AnAdvertADay #Day76

Sometimes you just want to read and nurture yourself with the endless amount of knowledge the world has to offer. On the other hand, sometimes you just want to read about gossip and get into other people’s business!

Let’s put it out there: gossiping is something that we all love, even if we won’t admit it, even to ourselves.

This craving for spicy details about others’ private lives is exactly what South African people magazine Heat used for its new campaign with the help of the agency ‘Machine’.


To get people to subscribe, a common way in the industry is to send out flyers. These generally go directly to the recycle bin as their desperate attempt at selling is of no interest to the audience.

So instead of doing that, Heat decided to take people on a ‘wrong recipient’ experience.

In an intriguing direct mail, sent in the form of a letter, addressed to someone else, people would discover someone’s very private story with visual support. The letter was handwritten and contained juicy snippets of stories.

Watch the video here:

The series of photos ends in a surprising twist with a discount on subscription, telling you that if you like getting into people’s business, you might like the magazine.

What is interesting here is that the media and the creative has a specific behaviour to perfectly fit with the brand’s spirit to get the message. That way, Heat Magazine only addresses its message to the ones that truly matter while taking people on an experience that tells them something about themselves.

Finally, this shows that in an era of digitization, direct mail can still be a perfectly relevant media, provided that enough creativity is put to use.


Benoit Finck

Benoit is a French copywriter that has lived across 4 countries over the last 4 years. He is passionate about advertising, cultural differences and Stand Up Paddling (some kind of surfing) that he practices every time he gets a chance to get out of the office.

You can follow him on Twitter: @BenoitFinck

Do take a look at his amazing website: Benoit Finck



Robin Williams’ greatest TV commercials of all time

#AnAdvertADay #Day75

Robin Williams, the man behind my laughter filled childhood. He was the man who made me fall in love with imagination. His passing away came as a shock and the reason for it is even more heart-breaking. After much venting on my social media platforms, I reckoned this is the perfect way for me to pay him a humble tribute.


Here’s a list of four of my favourite Robin Williams commercials.

1. Apple i-Pad ‘The Verse’ commercial

An abstract commercial by nature, the various shots in the ad that celebrate the passion of the human race. The commercial features various things that people do with the i-Pad. These abstract shots are brought to life by the iconic scene from ‘Dead Poets Society’ which starred Robin Williams. This monologue, which is used as a voice over in the ad,  went on to become one of the most popular scenes performed by the legend. Here’s the transcript:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

Here’s the ad:


2. The Snickers commercial

In the well-known “You are not you when you are hungry” campaign from Snickers, Williams played the role of a hungry coach. The ad truly celebrates his usual excited self which was core to his personality.

Watch here:


3. The Sky TV commercial

The commercial from Sky TV features a little boy who unpacks his giant Christmas gift to find a surprise. To his disbelief, a lifelike robot, played by Robin Williams, comes out of it. The commercial in itself isn’t the best there is, but Robin Williams does a brilliant job in it.


4. The Illinois Bell Phone Center commercial

This vintage, entertaining TV spot was for the Illinois Bell Phone Center Store. It featured the then unknown Robin Williams as the mischievous young husband. His funny voices in the commercial are quite delightful.


There are a lot more ads that he has featured in but these felt like the perfect compilation for a tribute to the legend. May his soul rest in peace.

A humorous series of extreme endurance tests for the Samsonite bags

#AnAdvertADay #Day74

Samsonite products have been charged by a bull, caught in revolving doors, tossed out of cabs and mauled by the entire Pittsburgh Steelers football team.

The heritage brand was launched with print ads in 1910 showing founders Jesse Shwayder and his business-partner brothers standing on suitcases to show how sturdy they were. It was called the Shwayder Brothers Trunk Company in those days, based in Denver, Colorado, but renamed Samsonite in the ‘60s in a hat tip to the Biblical strongman Samson.

Ad taglines have included the 1969 slogan, “If you traveled the way your luggage does, would you look as good as Samsonite?” A bag had to be nearly indestructible, the ad implied, to survive those clumsy skycaps.


Leading the industry for more than 100 years, Samsonite has a long history of rigorous and unique quality testing methods. Recent campaigns emphasize not just how muscular the products are, but also how lightweight and maneuverable they are because of newly developed materials and technology. Keeping this as the focus, they have launched a series of ‘tongue-in-cheek’ online videos. The series brings the resilience of each Samsonite case to life by subjecting it to unexpected endurance tests.

With emphasis on the robust qualities of the luggage collections, the videos showcase how the innovative designs make Samsonite products a force to be reckoned with. These videos are very well scripted, with an excellent voice-over that is supported by a stellar copy.

The series includes 4 spots that tests 4 benefits of the bags and one spot is for their Rainsport umbrella. Watch the humour packed series below:

At the centre of the ultimate tug-of-war between tractors, horses and weight-lifters, the new Lite-Locked case remains intact thanks to the innovative Curv® technology and 3-point-lock system, a winning combination of strength and security.


Even when under attack from flying tennis balls, the new TriForce laptop case offers the ultimate protection for your business essentials. With 360° shock absorbing casing and extra corner cushioning for a laptop, the TriForce case will protect against any unexpected falls or bumps.


In a race against time with a remote-controlled car, the new Samsonite X-Pression+ case emerges triumphant. The winning feature is the 360° spinning wheels that offer extreme maneuverability to help speed through airport checkpoints with the greatest of ease and agility.


The new Pop-Fresh case is the ideal size for on-board luggage, and the ultimate cabin companion, easily gliding through a high-rise obstacle course of tight spaces.


Whether it’s raining cats and dogs in the UK, buckets in Belgium or nails in Canada, disastrous weather is no match for the Samsonite Rainsport Umbrella. Constructed of storm-proofed material and innovative ‘floating ribs technology’, the ultra-flexible umbrella keeps the carrier dry in even the most extreme conditions.

An inspirational and powerful tribute print ad by Nike

#AnAdvertADay #Day73

Paul George is a 24-year-old basketball star who plays with the Indiana Pacers. Last week he had a possibly career ending leg fracture. You can watch the video of his severe injury. One week later, Nike made this powerful tribute ad.


The copy in the ad is absolutely beautiful and inspirational. In a world of few words and design led posters, ads and billboards, this one stands out with the use of great copy. It leads to inculcate a sense of optimism in the reader’s mind, which is perfect, keeping the reason for the tribute in mind.

Not much can be said when the ad speaks for itself. So I’ll leave it at that.

Why should anyone be made to feel like crap, just for being who they are?

#AnAdvertADay #Day72


Beyondblue, a counseling organisation in Australia, has released a  national anti-discrimination campaign highlighting the impact of racism on the social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Their website quotes:

Research shows that subtle or ‘casual’ racism can be just as harmful as more overt forms. Imagine being judged in a job interview by the colour of your skin, rather than the strength of your CV. How would you feel if you were watched in a shop or treated differently on public transport? 

Why should anyone be made to feel like crap, just for being who they are?   

Stop. Think. Respect. encourages everyone in Australia to check their behaviour. Stop the discrimination, think about how your comments or actions could cause real distress and harm, and respect people who are different from you.

In the ad, an alter ego called ‘The invisible discriminator’ is the protagonist. He is the personification of the ‘little voice’ that all of us have. Except, he’s racist. The ad shows various scenarios where people discriminate against the Aborigines, taking advice from ‘The invisible discriminator’. For each scenario, he says a line that changes the perspective of the person towards the other completely. It’s well scripted with the ad having a monologue by the invisible discriminator, broken down for each scenario.

The message requires no clarity whatsoever.

Watch this guilt-instilling ad here:

The ‘Violence Against Women’ ad that will haunt you

#AnAdvertADay #Day71

The Instituto Maria da Penha is a non-profit in Fortaleza that provides legal assistance for women battling domestic violence.

In this simple video of a fixed frame focusing on grave faces, they’ve portrayed a message that a million words couldn’t justify. The simplicity of the message and the minimalistic representation of the same will leave you dumbfounded.

In this series of 3 ads, they show 3 different women dejectedly looking into the camera with tear rimmed eyes. As the ad progresses and the piano track becomes more prominent, the faces get graver and tears, profuse. You can see the striking pain in their eyes but they won’t say a word. You want to scream and ask them as to what the matter is but their silence doesn’t break.


The message at the end of the videos call for an action against such grave silence that women abide by despite being violated. The institute, being one that provides women with legal assistance, wants to urge them to come out in the open and ask them for help. The text at the end of the ad reads as follows:

‘The longer you wait, the more it hurts.

Violence against women. Speak out. “

I love how the silence in the ads haunt the viewer, leaving one restless and with a prominent feeling of helplessness, just like the victims.The gradual increase in emotion is extremely well done leading onto simple and to-the-point call to action.

Watch the three videos below:

KBC’s amazing new launch ad is the best one yet

#AnAdvertADay #Day71

An excerpt from the ad description on YouTube:

KBC is back. Promises to bring more than just the family together this season! The nations most eagerly awaited television show goes ‘inclusive’ in this years’ edition. For years, the show and its superstar celebrity host have brought together people from diverse regions, cultures, languages and aspirations for its viewers to watch and appreciate. All the while bringing families together in front of the television. KBC has challenged, inspired and helped thousands of Indians to earn knowledge, money and fame.

In the most engaging and entertaining fashion. If that’s the legacy of the show, its publicity promos break new ground every year and work their own charm with the masses. Engaging them with thought-provoking messages crafted and presented with endearing simplicity.

This new ad by KBC, successfully captures the ripple of excitement that the show creates in the entire nation due to its unmatachble popularity. The ad works towards building the same spirit in the viewer’s mind, leaving one wanting for the show’s launch.

The first ad in the series ‘Kohima’ was a complete tear jerker that tackled the issue of the social isolation of the North East from India. The others to follow worked on similar strategies where the show helped tackle everyday issues in the country by bringing people together.


But this one, has to be my absolute favourite. It encapsulates the simple joy of speaking with Amitabh Bachchan. It also captures the classic request by most contestants, asking him to act out one of his iconic dialogues. The spirit of unity and ‘bringing together’ is very Indianised and close to real life scenarios.

Kudos, once again.

The epic BMW ‘DriftMob’ has revolutionised the flash mob

#AnAdvertADay #Day70

BMW is known to be the car that is made for a stellar driver. It’s a car that dares you to push it to the limit and beyond. After the breath-taking, CGI enhanced, ‘Ultimate Racetrack’ ad that BMW released a short while back, they’re here to pump the octane levels again but this time, with some real stunts.


Five cherry red M235i coupes spin around each other in a tightly choreographed high-speed sequence on a closed traffic rotary. Titled “The Epic Driftmob,” it takes great pains to emulate a human flash mob. It’s five cars that surprise spectators that are outside the cordoned off area with some great drift-choreography that re-defined perfect co-ordination.


The smoking tires, the revving engines and the effortless drifting, all go a long way to make the car look uber-cool. It’s made with great care to make the car’s desirability factor jump up a notch which has almost always been the point of most BMW commercials.

You can watch the jaw-dropping video here:

Here is the making of the ad which is a delightful watch too:

The inspiring story of an unlikely ballerina that will move you

#AnAdvertADay #Day69

‘Under Armour’ which is an American sports apparel and accessories company has an annual revenue of $1 billion for its men’s products and exactly half i.e. $ 500 million for its’ women’s apparel. The company has long contended that its goal is for the women’s segment to grow as big as, if not bigger than, the men’s.

A mighty $15 million is what they have invested in this new campaign, their biggest ever, specifically targeted to women, in hopes of achieving that goal.

The first TV spot, of the series, ballerina Misty Copeland stands in the practice studio, slowly rising onto her toes. The muscles in her calves as angular as bent elbows are purposefully highlighted at this point.

As music plays and, in a voice over, a young girl reads a rejection letter explaining why the ballet academy candidate was turned down.

“Thank you for your application to our ballet academy,” says a voice-over, “Unfortunately you have not been accepted. You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet. And at 13, you are too old to be considered.”


She is then shown flying with grand jete leaps and rapid-fire spins across a vast lighted stage as if breaking into a grand performance. Only later is it revealed that Copeland, who at this point is looking triumphantly into the camera, is a well-established professional ballet dancer.

Copeland is seen sporting off a black Under Armour tank top and the brand’s “Cheeky” underwear bottoms throughout the ad as opposed to the standard leotard and tutu.


An end card introduces a new tagline for the campaign, “I will what I want” — an elongation of a long-running slogan for the brand, “I will” — and the name of a new website for female consumers, http://iwillwhatiwant.com/

The question here is, why is the brand that always features conventional athletes making an ad with a ballerina?

The reason is simple.

Even though she’s not a competitive athlete,  she brings a modern athleticism to a very traditional art form. She pushes the boundaries on the status quo of the word ‘athlete’. There are a lot of sports, activities, hobbies and passions that women are engaging in that are athletic and physical and should be celebrated, whether it’s dance or soccer or kickboxing or spinning. This approach makes the targeting exclusive to women.

Intelligent move on their part considering that women have a broader sense of what constitutes an athletic activity.

The others involved in the series are: Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, the tennis player Sloane Stephens and the soccer player Kelley O’Hara.

A very similar ad was the launching spot for Clean & Clear USA’s new global campaign ‘See The Real Me’ a while back where they featured a 13-year-old aspiring ballerina, Emma, who also struggled with having a body type and corkscrew curls that were not in the traditional mold. This ad bears a striking resemblance to that one.