Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

When’s the last time you felt something, watching a TV ad?

May 31, 2010, 10:38 PM

Funny how things go round — one year ago I saw a beautiful animation, called Father & Daughter, by Michaël Dudok de Wit. Yesterday I stumbled across a few other shorts by the same gifted author, from which I loved The Monk and The Fish. However, the following collection of TV ads really impressed me, managing to fill me with much more than indifference and nervousness, the usuals when it comes to advertising — mind you, I quit working in advertising 3 years ago and I’ve been off the TV for almost 9 years now.

I can’t really tell what makes them special — maybe it’s the beautiful watercolours, maybe it’s the music, maybe the slow pace — or maybe the credible slices of life told in less than 15 seconds. Either way, I’d sure love to see more advertising like this.




Hi Iancu,

Indeed, this ads are beautiful but I think it’s their style and visual that misleads us into liking them.

Think about like this, if AT&T were doing this kind of watermarked ads they will clearly stand out, but what if all of them were doing it? No one will be standing out and it will all come again to the idea behind it. The creative idea, not the visual one.

It’s just like in banking industry right now, after ING, almost all of them adopted illustrations in their materials. It’s a trend in visual.

I believe these ads were made back in the 90′, the United one was made by Fallon London. It was their visual trend back then.

Now regarding your question, the last time I felt something watching an AD was when I saw Write the future. I know it’s for Nike and it’s quite commercial, but it creates emotion, it creates an aura around Just do it.

I love it how even the AT&T logo is drawn and animated. Beautiful ads. So it can be done — emotion, that is.

First, I do not think they are misleading. They’re quite sincere, something rarely seen in advertising (few companies have the guts of showing you that life passes fast and then you die — usually, everything is about carpe diem).

Second, imagine these ads filmed in black & white, for instance — I bet they’d be just as touching, since it’s not only about the visuals, it’s also about what they tell and how they tell it.

Let’s not start about ING, it’s a clear case in an under-developed market: they can do anything since the others are not doing anything. Their lack of coherence is visible from miles away.

Last, about Nike’s Write The Future, I think it’s more of a show-off than a real statement. But maybe that’s just my dislike for football and overhyped advertising talking :)


Indeed, the animated logo and especially the ball-becoming-the-logo were very nice details. I’d like to see a comercial like this made for Ariel or other detergent — would be great to show all ‘marketers’ and ‘strategists’ that it would sell, and quite well, I bet.



Touche! The idea behind the ad is indeed profound and emotional, but what if the ad was filmed with real people and just like any other ad, would it still be that touching?

What I was trying to say with the misleading part is that, for me for instance, I tend to like some ads, websites etc if they are visual very powerful and artistic, maybe it’s just me.

About ING, I don’t know nothing about their strategy but visually. I always liked visual school of branding, even though without the strategy you can’t do much, ING clearly stands out from other competitors and it looks pretty coherent to me, visually speaking, but hey, I’ve never worked in advertising so I maybe wrong.

About Nike you’re right, it is a show-off but that’s not a bad thing :D

It’d still be touching. Without doubt. It might even be more powerful, filmed in b&w, with close-ups.

Showing off is a good strategy that works for the ‘cool’ brands. However, one downside is that you can rarely show off on small budgets :)

Nice animation, but as I said, I’m no fan of football, so I can’t relate to it :)


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