Category Archives: Video of the Week

Video of the Week – Sainsbury makes us remember that Christmas is for Sharing.

Sainsbury’s is the third largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. For this upcoming Christmas, they have released a special commercial. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the retailers partnered up with The Royal British Legion to make a commercial based on true events that occurred in December 1914.

The ad takes place in December 1914, just four months after the beginning of WWI. The movement of the war is already over. Soldiers are now entrenched and spend most of their time hiding and sleeping in the mud. But one event changed the first months of the war. According to historical reports, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, soldiers on the Western front from Germany, the British Empire and France made an unofficial truce where they could meet in No Man’s Land, exchange souvenirs and small presents, sing songs and even play football – or soccer as you call it in North America.

In early December, soldiers from both sides stopped the fighting for a short while to rest and recover their dead. In some areas, they even exchanged conversations. Mid-December, German soldiers started to decorate their trenches with candles and small Christmas trees and ended by singing Christmas carol on the 24th – such as “O Tannenbaum” (O Christmas Tree) and “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (Silent Night). British and French soldiers sang these songs in their language in response which led to an uncommon moment of peace.

This moment is well-known and even led to a few movies. The ad by Sainsbury’s used information about the “Christmas truce” event and partnered with the Royal British Legion, to make this ad as precise and real as possible.

This ad depicts a true and emotional event that happened 100 years ago. Even if the Great War was one of the deadliest wars with 16 million dead, human behaviour and sympathy led people to make a short truce to exchange with an enemy that they never saw and get back their dead to give them a proper burial instead of a mortar hole in No Man’s Land.

This video relies on something that everyone can do, even the men at war: share. It doesn’t matter your religion, your gender, or your race – sharing is one thing that we can all do at least for Christmas. The chocolate bar featured in the 3-minute film is available in every Sainsbury’s for £1 and all profits will be donated to The Royal British Legion.

To me, this ad is almost a documentary to educate younger people about that period of history and to make everyone remember that Christmas is about sharing no matter what the circumstances. You have one month to keep that in mind!

Video of the Week – Harrods shows the beauty of turning the lights on

Today’s Video of the Week, features one of the most iconic stores in England, Harrods, a former branch of House of Fraser that features on yesterday’s Bad Marketing. This commercial was released last month and didn’t have the same success as Sainsbury’s or John Lewis, but it is nonetheless a fantastic commercial that you have to watch.

Harrods is an upmarket department store located in Knightsbridge, London. It has over 1 million sq ft (90,000m2) of selling space which makes it the biggest department store in Europe. Every year, for the Holiday Season, they dress up the store to wow everyone – from children to grandparents..

This year, to illustrate the transformation for this festive time, they launched a commercial entitled “The Land of Make Believe – A Little Christmas Tail”. It is the first animated film for Harrods that is being use for Christmas.

It features little mice that are getting everything ready for Christmas. They carry gifts and candy canes around a big Christmas tree. One of them, called Peter Pumpernickel would like to help everyone. Unfortunately, the little mouse is too small to help and that makes him very sad. So he decided to quietly slip away so as not to bother his pals.

When Santa arrives, he sees that everyone is working well, but he notices that Peter isn’t there. Once he finds him, he finds a special job for Peter to do, where his small size will be a benefit. Santa carefully picks him up and lifts him to a little hole, that only Peter could fit through. As a result, Peter is able to fix the lights and light up all of Harrods in time for Christmas.

According to Deborah Bee, Director of Creative Marketing at Harrods, “Christmas at Harrods is an enchanting time for everyone. The Land of Make Believe brings the festive magic of the store to life, encouraging Londoners to enjoy Harrods as the ultimate Christmas destination; it’s perfect for the whole family.” And she knows what she’s talking about. Harrods is one of the most-visited places in London by tourists and especially during the holidays. During November and December, Harrods become a magical place that gives everyone stars in their eyes and smiles on their faces.

I couldn’t think of a better story to explain how these lights are turning on for Christmas. A beautifully-animated video that makes everyone happy and that needs to be shared.

*Have a great holiday season everyone*

Video of the Week – Martini Plays on its Italian Roots

Martini launched its new campaign a couple of weeks ago with new commercials and the hashtag #BeginDesire. Spoiler alert: It’s beautiful.

The world famous Italian aperitivo brand has been on our tables since 1863! Made by 3 distillers from Turin, Alessandro Martini, Luigi Rossi and Teofila Sola, the first mix of vermouth and gin was the Rosso. The Bianco, the one that is most commonly known today, was only introduced in 1910 and has been part of James Bond’s – shaken, not stirred – Vodka-Martini cocktail since Ian Fleming’s novel Diamonds are Forever in 1956. James Bond couldn’t represent the Martini brand better as his character incorporates all of the elements of Martini: elegance, glamour and desire. After all, it is an Italian brand !

In this brand new ad, Martini has chosen a poetic route to launch it new campaign with a full 2-minute-long commercial. A classy Italian man finishes his drink at a small caffè and then magically disappears. The young waitress picks up his drink and notices two words on the little Martini napkin: Begin and Desire. From now, a long and poetic run takes place in the streets of Rome.

The man that was drinking earlier, is now on the top of a building standing against a giant Martini sign. With a sign of his hand, the man makes the word Begin appear on the ground and then make it slip it into a little cobblestone street as an invitation. The woman, intrigued, approach carefully the street corner before a man with the word Desire written in the back of its suits grabs her hand to bring her in a crowded and running mob. The soft and simple music gets higher with light notes like a puppet show. The man standing against this huge Martini sign keeps orchestrating the mob, and making the words Desire and Change here and there, but also controlling people’s actions to interact with this young and beautiful waitress. He is like a puppet master, like he was the spirit of Rome, the one that controls everyone’s decisions.

This young waitress is then orchestrated through several fantastical occurrences within the mob of people, until she is put by herself in front of a building with the words “Il Futuro Sei Tu” which literally means “the future is you” just as the music stops. Now she is facing a decision: should she take this suitcase which magically appears next to her?

As the music starts back, she’s grabbing the suitcase and starts running and enter the building that was facing her which turns out to be a train station. She jumps into a futuristic train and discovers a new set of words on the napkin she was holding: Desire Begins Change. The puppet master has finished the job as he blows a kiss while the Martini sign lights up.

This fabulous commercial, directed by Jake Scott, brings everything that represents Martini. The glamourous waitress, the elegant puppet master and the invitation to desire. After seeing this, you are eager to rediscover Martini again, you want to share a classy Italian night with some friends or with your lover.

This ad brings a poetic touch that isn’t often seen in advertising, and for that reason, it is our video of the week!

Video of the week: Choose Your Winter

nike_logo_wallpaper_for_mobile_iphone-t2Let’s face it, winter is here and we cannot do anything about it. It’s easier to be lazy and snuggle with your warm, cozy blanket with a bowl of chips and hot chocolate, while watching TV shows all day. An easy excuse to hibernate than to exercise.

“Is winter out to get us?” the Irish actor, Chris O’Dowd as a weatherman says.

The weatherman then presents various winter sports that features athletes who train and perform during winter, whether you are out in the soccer field or inside an ice rink. He also, ironically describes the effects of the cold on a human body by exaggerating of what would ‘happen’ to you. His corniness adds a flair of comedy to the campaign while simultaneously showing athletes how Nike’s new line is efficient.

Additionally, the ad is promoting Nike’s new line of products called ‘Nike Hyperwarm.’ The ads show how their new winter gear is beneficial and effective, how the fabric is made to keep you dry, and warm, and their fit is streamlined so you can have full range of motion, effective performance and are comfortable.

The approach is to tackle a dilemma that everyone faces during winter whether you are a professional athlete or not. With Nike Hyperwarm, everyone can keep training and exercise harder. “You can’t choose the weather, but you can choose your winter,” Nike stated. Basically, as their slogan says, “Just Do it.”

Video of the Week – How Will You Remember?

remembrance_day-1Today marks Canada’s Remembrance Day. Millions of Canadians gathered across Canada to honour and remember the soldiers, sailors, and airmen and women who have served and protected the country. A ceremony is held to honour their bravery and patriotism. This includes the national anthem “O Canada,” the “Last Post” is played to begin the remembrance memorial service, which follows a two-minute silence at 11 a.m., and then speeches to show appreciation to ‘them’.

Remembrance Day marks two significant historical events – World War I that ended on November 11th, 1918 and World War II that ended in September 2nd, 1945. It is also known as Poppy Day, which signifies the red broaches of poppies that are worn by citizens on the left (next to the heart), starting two weeks before Remembrance Day. There is a poem by Maria Andrew that talks about poppies and in one of the sentences it is stated, “Red poppies can glow like bright little lamps,” which symbolizes how we will remember them. Additionally, whoever served in those harsh times, will glow bright today and honor their courageousness and devotion.

Canadian news outlets such as CTV News and the CBC have been live-blogging all day since this morning, where people have been tweeting, posting videos and pictures to acknowledge this memorial service whether or not they knew someone:

One excellent poem that demonstrates the importance of honouring this day was written by Moira Michael in November, 1918. Her words are vividly beautiful and poetical to the point that you feel the intensity of her emotions crawling out of the words.

We Shall Keep the Faith

“Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.”

Source: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/moina-michael-we-shall-keep-faith.htm

“Lest We Forget”- Let’s stand in silence and remember how our armed forces have served the country during times of war.

Video of the Week – Hockey and Poetry Have Never Been Closer

Hockey Fans pay attention!

I know that here in Montreal, we are all disappointed that PK Subban isn’t on the NHL 15 cover, but you should still read this blog post!NHL15 - Bergeron vs Habs

The latest NHL15, from Electronic Arts, has was released almost two months ago and features the Boston Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron.

This short commercial starts with Bergeron dressed as if he’s about the enter the ice rink. You see him walk carefully through a bar between the tables to take the stage while the MC says that he will perform a piece called “Feelings”. Quietly putting his helmet on his chairs, he reaches the mic and starts reading a poem he wrote for his love…

Of course by love, he meant hockey! Over a jazzy bass tune, Bergeron tells a story about his game: the hockey, and especially NHL15. During his little poem, you can see videos of NHL15 perfectly matching what he describes. Basically, when he presses play, his feelings can’t be denied, all of his shiny hockey dreams go by. Hold his calls, Bergeron is in love with the game and wants to play it… forever. It ends with fingers snapping, AKA a “Beatnik applause”, to show appreciation for Bergeron’s slam poetry.

It may sounds strange for non-hockey fans, but it isn’t to a hockey enthusiast. To me it even talks to any sports fan. Doesn’t matter that you like hockey, football, basketball or soccer. You understand his words, his passion, his love… his feelings! That’s why this commercial is great. Even if it is aimed at hockey fans, it uses a universal message. Sports bring anger, joy, sadness and/or happiness. So many feelings that make sense when you live for sports.

Hockey is special to some people, like here in Montreal where almost everyone knows that they are playing tonight. The Canadians have such a history, that it belongs to the city and its Habs – abbreviation of Les Habitants – but as we know, it is the same in a lot of different cities. Sports is special to everyone and having a bold and special commercial like this one, makes us remember our love for it – even through poetry! I really like this idea of using literature. Bringing poetry into sports brings a little less roughness to a sport that already has plenty and making a NHL player reading it is far from what you could expect of him. A well played move by EA.

Simple and complex at the same time, with a pinch of awkwardness and beauty, this commercial has almost more feelings than Patrice Bergeron’s poem. While the ad was targeted towards hockey fans, it turns out this poem could be about any other sport. Because that’s what sports is about: uniting people and their emotions.

After all, this ad is simple but quite brilliant. It is aimed towards hockey fans, the ones that live for it. A poem for the video game from a player, but like no other: an actual NHL player.

Video of the Week – Esurance is Killing It!

The San Francisco based insurance company Esurance has been a pioneer in online car insurance since 1999. In October 2011, they were bought by Allstate, for about $1 billion. Less than two months after Esurance became part of the Allstate family, they were already working with Allstate’s marketing agency, the Leo Burnett Company, in addition to their long-time partner Havas Group (formely MPG). In December 2011, Esurance came out with a new campaign and tagline: “Insurance for the modern world”. This slogan has been used quite memorably with The Office actor John Krasinski narrating their ads, even appearing during the 2014 Superbowl commercial.

Since most of their campaigns have been successful hits, it has been hard to choose just one of them. So, we will review them in general as they are all based on the same idea. As mentioned before, Esurance has used a specific tagline for the last three years: “Insurance for the modern world”. Esurance has also been comparing itself to its competitors, as Esurance claims that they take half the time to save you money on insurance compared to the others. To be precise, by making this statement, they are specifically targeting GEICO, the #2 insurance company in the USA.

To make those companies feel like they are “backwards” and “out of date”, Leo Burnett Agency has been using different characters to show how “out of touch” and awkward with technology their competitors are.

Let’s start with Beatrice, who’s a nice old lady that manages to be comfortable with modern technologies. Well, at least that is what she thinks. Have a look at the first ever one made for this 2014 campaign where she is using “Facebook”:

You can also check out Larry, who thinks DVDs have to be rewound like a VHS, or believes that he finally got a flat screen TV:

How about Earl? Does he care about the new iPhone 6? I don’t think so:

Milton is a selfie enthusiast, but he doesn’t have an Instagram account. He doesn’t even have a camera actually:

But, I encourage you to meet Shirlee. She is a record-smasher in Candy Crush. Nope, not the same game as you might play on your phone:

Esurance has been using the same technique. It features old people people who are uncomfortable with new technologies, speaking of their new technological discovery. They might have heard people posting pictures on their wall, so they try to do this as well, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone. Same thing with a smartphone or some apps. These commercials all ends with a “Don’t live in somone else’s world. Live in the modern world!”. That simple, funny slogan works great with their target market. You can easily see your parents or grandparents doing the things you see in one of their ads!

Remember, Esurance is an online insurance company which was one of the first back in 1999. Like the company used to say prior to their 2014 campaign, Esurance was “born online and raised by technology”. To Ensurance, everyone wants to be online right now but doesn’t necessarily know how to do it properly. They might be right. Building a community and “how to” skills or gaining experience aren’t gained overnight. It takes time, and that is why the third largest insurance company in the US needed them. GEICO, on the other hand, spends 5 to 6 times more in advertising per year than Esurance, which probably proves that an online company can control their costs way better than a traditional company.

It’s simple but extremely funny. To me, it is one of the best campaign in 2014. Be sure to watch the Beatrice Tech Savvy videos.