Friday, February 22, 2013

Burger King's ads feel like A&W

Burger King has a new ad agency.  In the last few years they appear to have changed agencies almost as often as Kardashians change men.

The latest shop is Mother, New York.  The agency has offices in South America and the UK as well;  the UK being the largest independent ad shop.   Their motto?  To make great work, have fun and make money.  Always in that order.

In taking the reins of Burger Kings new television brand initiative, they appear to have taken a page from long time purveyor of burgers, A&W.   What's the commonality?  An extremely likeable store manager.  Someone with charm, humour and dedication.

A&W's ads feature veteran actor  Alan Lulu.  When he's not talking to people going through his TV drive through, he's auditioning for the next role or appearing in stage productions. His TV credits are quite substantial.  In one A&W commercial he does a little song and dance number that definitely tips his hat to talent far beyond the A&W ads.  This ad features actor Ryan Beil as "the employee in training."




Now, enter Mother.  Their focus groups clearly indicated they needed to soften the edge their predecessors had created and shape Burger King into something more family friendly.  The new ads are, well, fun.  And the new store manager definitely brings the same magic as Alan Lulu.

I have to admit I like the new BK commercials.  But for the same reason as the A&W ads.  Strong performances, likeable actors and quirky scripts.  I'm not a 17 year old deciding where I'll grab my greasy burger after a night of hanging with my buds.  But I'm sure Mother's research department has already thought this through.   For more in the BK series of ads, check out the Ad Age article.


 

 
 











With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.



Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Online voicecasting companies - buyer beware

The internet is a truly beautiful thing. It makes the world a bit closer and gives us instantaneous access to things like.. well.. the definition of the word recalcitrant. More importantly it allows small business owners and suppliers the opportunity to find and provide goods and services in a much more efficient way. Enter the voiceover industry.

Reputable agents using the web to host their clients demos are brilliant.  An independent artist working hard to create a strong demo, and search engine friendly content for his / her site, also a slam dunk of how it should be done. Where the wheels fall off the microphone are sites like Voicebunny. Voicebunny works from the premise that there are a lot of people out there, some business owners, who want a voiceover for next to nothing and will crowd source it until they find someone desperate enough to provide said voiceover.

 A crowdsourcing voice site? Seriously? Yes. A very well researched review of this new site can be found here courtesy of voice artist Kyle McCarley. The title is, Voicebunny, voice bottom feeding. Kyle makes a very good point. The key to a great voice/client relationship is communication.

And when a site like Voicebunny takes that out of the equation, you are left with a disgruntled client who is not able to properly provide feedback to the talent, and talent competing in a pool of hundreds of others who are not properly valuing and selling their talents. At the end of the day, quality always wins.

Inevitably, people always want the best. Or close to the best as they can justify. Voicebunny is no where near either.



With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.


Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Creative Excellence Fridays - Family day

Dalton is gone. Mr McGuinty got on his tainted white horse and rode off into the sunset. In Ontario, the now former Premiere, annointed family day as one of his lasting legacies. Regardless of anything else you may love him or hate him for, family day remains. It wasn't an original idea as Alberta introduced family day back in 1990. But, come Monday, you'll have a day to reflect on how much you love your family and hate February. Creative Excellence today looks at commercials that celebrate family. First up, a beautiful spot produced by Toyota Europe through Saatchi & Saatchi Duke, Saint Denis, France. It speaks the universal language, silence, except at the very end when the little girl announces that her daddy is her hero.

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Next up a creative spot from Kia that answers the age old question, "Dad? Where do babies come from?".



This spot came from David and Goliath. 

They've handled the Kia account for a while now and have a very different approach to car advertising and received a lot of attention for their "yo yo Hamster" series.

And finally, Jimmy Johns. It's a sandwich chain founded in 1983. The commercials emphasize the fast delivery aspect with various scenarios of how quickly they arrive. The Spanish market in the United States in massive, and as a result, this commercial was created. The acting is not going to be gathering up any Golden Globes, but it's a fun spot just the same.



Enjoy family day. I know Dalton is.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

TDBank Manhattan produces customized video content for Google +

Does TD bank know something we don't? Who puts thousands of dollars into creating customized video for a social sharing platform know one uses? Apparently TD Bank does. And perhaps they know something we don't.

Through their agency, Icrossing, they have produced dozens of videos starring TD bank managers. Each video welcomes customers to come in to their branch and promotes the uniqueness of their neighbourhood. It's a great combination of local PR and social to do what social media was intended to do, be social. But one can't help but wonder, why is Icrossing drinking the Google+ koolaid by the jug?

Statistics indicate the Google + social share platform is still galaxies behind Facebook. And yet Icrossing is cross promoting it on their home page blog, promoting the various celebrities who have crossed over into the Google + promised land. I'm not saying that Facebook is unstoppable. And if any company has the financial, creative and data mining resources to put a few kinks in the Facebook armour, it's Google.

But it certainly seems like Icrossing is doing all it can to load up the Goliath slingshot.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Creative Excellence Fridays from Ontrack Communications - All the Superbowl ads Canada missed 2013

I love my country and I'm proud of our ad practictioners of which I am fortunately to count myself as one. But, every Superbowl, I always have this dual personality; this split allegiance. I want to see the Canadian ads, but at the same time I know there are "other ads" running at the same time that I'm missing. A smart entrepreneur should figure out a way to stream the US ads at the same time as the Canadian ads so we can truly make the game the celebration of commercials it is. I know I know, there's a football game on too. Yawn. So, without further ado, here are all the ads we missed in Canada last Sunday. Enjoy.

Huffington Post

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Is Volkwagen's new Super Bowl commercial racist? Creative Excellence Fridays

Will Beyonce lip sync again at the half time show? Will Bob Costas make another verbal rant to save America from their gun totin' selves? And will Volkswagen go to air with what has turned into a controversial new commercial?

Volkswagen advertising hit the motherlode the last couple of years.  Last year's running dog was a real treat.  But the previous year  "The Force" commercial got over 49 million internet views.
The dilemna for Deutsch Advertising, the AOR of VW was ... "how do we top ourselves?"

In the pre-internet days it was generally a small group at the network who were the gatekeepers of what actually aired on Superbowl Sunday.

Now  with the web teaser pre-release commercials the advertiser and the network have to handle the heat of an audience who already has an inkling of the  final commercial.

Deutsch latest Volkswagen offering for SB Sunday is a spot featuring white midwesterners speaking "rasta monnn".  It was at first received with generally positive approval.  However as the more conservative elements got wind of it the drums of racism started to beat.

You be the judge.




Deutsch is so skilled at what they do, it's not outside the realm of consideration that this was a deliberately conceived controversy.  Their test market would have no issue with the creative and the additional coverage would add up to millions in unpaid exposure.  And the time of this writing this spot had already hit just under 5 million views.

Mercedes is back with a much talked about campaign featuring Kate Upton.  The teaser is better than the actual spot in my opinion.




Did you recognize Mad Men's Jon Hamm doing the voiceover tag?

Cars are a natural during the Super Bowl and you have to give full due to Audi for pulling this next spot together. What happens when an awkward teenager is given the keys to a brand new Audi for prom night?




Brilliant.  A 16 year old's hail mary pass to the promised land.  Enjoy the game.


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.


Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.