New Beginnings

Everything about this is breathtaking. September 11th was so recent that even my young 22-year-old self can recall where I was on that tragic day when I received the news. Because the wounds of that day’s devastation have not yet fully healed, creating any sort of ad related to the incident must be done gently—and that is precisely what the New York City Ballet has done. This quiet, elegant tribute could not have been executed more perfectly; from the setting (sunrise on September 12th, 2013 on the 57th floor of the World Trade Center overlooking a sleepy Manhattan) to the beauty of the dance itself (a piece by Christopher Wheeldon titled “After the Rain”), they embodied rebirth.  The tribute, titled “New Beginnings,” aims to “[rebrand 9/12] as a day of optimism and new beginnings.” This awe-inspiring video already evokes an overwhelming sense of peace and sanguinity, and I can’t wait to see the positive impact it has for all future September 12s.


A Sweet Take on Photography

When I grow up, I want to be Emily Blincoe. I’ve been following this chick on Instagram for a little less than a year now, and girl knows what she’s doing. From her sugar series (shown below) to her chameleon portraits, I fall in love with her work harder and harder each time she pops up on my Insta feed. She takes portraits of strangers she finds interesting, spells out nice greetings with flowers, and knows how to capture ordinary objects in striking ways. Most of her work looks like it was pulled straight out of a Wes Anderson film: quirky and charming (particularly her “thisAMPERSANDthat” series, in which she crafts an ampersand sign out of a substance—typically food—and matches it with its counter part, e.g., chicken and waffles).

A common theme that Blincoe has kept up is capturing colors organized neatly. Candy, fruit, nuts, seeds, plants, leaves, buttons, and assorted knick-knacks all displayed in perfect rectangles, each carefully placed next to the others, fitting like a puzzle. One of my favorite series Blincoe has done is her “Say It with Scissors” series, in which she cuts out letters to string words together. All of these images feature the cut out words hanging on a string, held up high by two hands with the sky as the background.

Many of her captions include brief anecdotes about the person being featured or something worth sharing that occurred in that setting. Her photographs have a childish innocence about them and remind us to appreciate even the most rudimentary parts of our day.

Oh and the best part? She’s from Austin.

Check out her Instagram here!


Smart Advertising

What is being advertised?

Smart cars


Why is it being advertised?

To promote awareness, pique interested, and lead the Smart car target audience to learn more about the cars.


Who is the intended target?

Drivers in urban areas


What’s the connection between the product’s message and the target’s need?

Smart car understands the urban driver’s frustration of being limited to parking spaces that only have room for half of your car, and they illustrate how they eliminate that frustration through this campaign. The target desires easier parking, and this ad demonstrates how having a bite-sized car can simplify parallel parking.


What’s the SINGLE most important thing (10 words or less) being communicated in the ad?

Smart cars fit into tight parking spaces.


How do the visuals support and communicate the single most important thing?

The message highlights one of Smart cars’ best qualities: it’s itty-bitty size. The use of a bike lock and a shoehorn bring to mind smaller objects, and the line “fits into tight places” brings home the message.


How does the copy support and communicate the single most important thing?

The line “fits into tight places” states what the smart car and it’s “accessories” are saying clearly and concisely: Smart cars are small and easy to park.


How does the context or media placement communicate the single most important thing?

These out of home ads are placed in urban areas where parallel parking is an everyday battle. The people Smart car is targeting are the ones who know the constant struggle of squeezing their cars into teeny tiny parking spots all too well. By placing actual Smart cars in parking spaces, they are giving their target audience an example of how their brand simplifies parking—right at the time of frustration for most drivers. Whether they are driving by the ad seeking out a parking space or have just exhausted themselves backing in and out of a space between two poorly parallel parked vehicles, the target audience will notice these ads right when their mind is on how much they loathe parallel parking in the city.


30 Creative Ads Using Oversized Objects


Drama Kings and Queens

I’m a big fan of this. Not only is this performance entertaining, interactive, and attention grabbing, but it also conveys a clear, relevant message: TNT knows drama. And on top of that, once people figure out what the button is for, they will want to try it out themselves and tell all of their friends about the hilarious new installment in the otherwise quiet part of town.

This idea could have easily crashed and burned, too. TNT took it just far enough to the point that all the chaos resulting from a simple push of a button was completely over the top, noisy, and effective. Anything less would have been a flop. The series of back-to-back outrageous incidents, introducing character after character made the scene completely ridiculous. Had they played it safe and stuck to one crazy occurrence, or even stopped after the first couple of incidents played out, the message would not have been as strong and being a bystander would not have been as memorable.

As outrageous as the series of events is, nothing that takes place throughout this production is too over-the-top for a television drama series. That’s the best part. I’m the biggest non-TV watcher you’ll meet, but I know enough about what shows are popular to know that drama like this sells. TNT took the same general premise of so many shows and movies you see on TV today and combined them all into one dramatic production. Bravo, TNT. You really do know drama.

Smiling at Strangers

What a pleasant use of street art. I am a big fan of street art and would argue that a good amount of it is truly art, but so much of it is negative. These pieces are uplifting with a positive call to action. They are friendly reminders to think optimistically and be kind to others—even if you don’t know them.

The one piece to this street art collection that particularly struck me was the one that asks pedestrians to draw their wish. Even if the passerby opts not to literally draw their wish on the pavement or the side of the building, it at the very least asks the person to consider what their wish would be.

The parts of the collection that say “Smile to a Stranger” and “Stop Talking” call to mind both my Intro to Creative class this past spring semester and my Language, Communication, and Culture course I took when I first applied to switch my major to advertising. In Intro to Creative, Ryan challenged us to think and act differently in small ways for daylong periods of time. Whether we were asked to drink tea instead of coffee or shampoo our hair before washing our body, these “exercises” demanded that we mix things up. In my Language, Communication, and Culture class, we were assigned the task of doing something that violates social norms. For my assignment, I said hi to five strangers and recorded what their responses were. Although confusion was sometimes the only reaction I got out of a person, many greeted me right back with a smile or a “hello!” Both my Intro to Creative class and my Language Communication, and Culture class asked us to behave differently and promote consciousness of how we operate. These simple sidewalk commands do just that as well. From my experience saying hi to people I don’t know, I can tell you that offering a positive greeting to another person—regardless of whether or not you’ve met—can brighten someone’s day with a negligible amount of effort.