Friday, November 29, 2013

Saul Leiter - genius photographer fades to black - Creative Excellence Fridays

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. - Ralph Waldo Emerson



Saul Leiter created thousands of moments of beauty in a career spanning back to the 1940s. He went on to become one of the louder voices in photography influence in the 20th century. Saul Leiter was studying to become a Rabbi when the pull of photography was too strong. At 23 he left theology school and went to New York to pursue his dreams of being an artist.
His early dream was to be a painter after meeting Abstract Expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart.

Dart encouraged Leiter to consider photography after seeing some of the work he had done since receiving a camera from his mother at the age of 12. Leiter began seriously taking black and white pictures with his 35 mm Leica. Then he transitioned to colour in 1948 and joined what was later coined the New York School of photographers.


It featured Diane Arbus and Robert Frank among others. Leiter's first big break came in 1953 when some of his black and whites were featured at the Museum of Modern Art. A few years later his colour fashion work started appearing in Esquire and Harper's Bazaar. His fashion photography became a new standard in excellence. Leiter's desire to be an artist never left him and he went on to create mixed medium using his own photographic nudes combined with gouache and watercolour. He even would occasionally use Kodachrome film that had expired just to see what effect it would have on the finished look.


 Leiter wasn't a holdhold name, but this was by design. He wasn't one to seek the limelight.

 “In order to build a career and to be successful,” Leiter says,“One has to be determined. One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it… Maybe I was irresponsible. But part of the pleasure of being alive is that I didn’t take everything as seriously as one should.”







Credits - Nicole Rae   Wikipedia

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, November 22, 2013

The psychology behind Red Bull - Creative Excellence Fridays

Marketing Energy Drinks seems simple. You show a clear picture of the can, and people doing things really energetic. Au contraire. As it turns out, every major drink company burst on to the scene with their own energy drink. And they all made the same claims. Pump one back and feel energized. Red Bull was an early brand on the scene and they took advantage of the cachet that comes with being at the gate early.

Hey, energy drinks are not really that different from marketing regular soft drinks. Except that they give you energy. A claim a Coca Cola or Pepsi can't give you. You can Do the dew, or Be a pepper. But can you be a bull?
Red Bull has been banking on it since 1987. The company was founded by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz who appears to be sort of a real life representation of the dox equis guy. He's a man's man who has barrelled ahead regardless of any negative news stories that have been associated with energy drinks.
Here's the latest offering. How Thanksgiving actually came to be.




RedBulls market tends to be a younger, edgier demographic. This ad would definitely speak to that.



This advert, as the Brits call it, created a lot of negative controversy. Letters, emails and phone calls came in by the hundreds.




The lineage of the original passengers of the Titanic were offended that a brand would use a disaster like this as fodder for sales. The unfortunate part though, depending on which side of the fence you're on, is that controversy for a brand like this just "gives them wings."





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, November 15, 2013

Bathrooms aren't sexy. But they can be funny. This week, commercials centered around the bathroom on Creative Excellence Fridays. We're working on a plumbing commercial for a client in Hamilton. And like any responsible creative guy, I surfed around to get plumbing inspiration.

Presto flusho -- up came this commercial. And it's very good. And the humour is built entirely around the chief product benefit.




Not to be outdone, Moen wanted to promote their spot free faucets. And through some very inventive animation, they got their point across.




And of course the one that created a viral sensation. Liquid Plumber Double Impact. The woman featured in this ad has great comic chops. Her expressions and timing are priceless.



Credits to DDB SanFrancisco.

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, November 8, 2013

Using humour to sell casinos - Creative Excellence Fridays

One of my favourite commercials on the air right now is the one for Casino Rama. I was unable to verify, but it appears Marshall Fenn communications is responsible for this campaign. Producing a commercial for a gambling casino involves one thing; the idea of going somewhere that will help you escape the mundane routine of every day life. A thrill. Being freshly dumped publicly and in this humiliating fashion certainly would require a mind bending change of routine.




Not to be outdone, this commercial was produced by Fallsview Casino a few years back. It was so well written, cast and produced, I would delay my trip to the chip cupboard every time this commercial came on.



I never tire of watching this commercial, something that is difficult to say about all commercials that sell with comedy. If it's a commercial built around a big reveal, you have a short, short shelf life. But commercials like theses two have the magic elixir.


And one more for good measure.



I'm not sure what his chances are. But the odds of me watching these commercials again and again? Bet the house on it.

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, November 1, 2013

Cartoons - influencing for generations - Creative Excellence Fridays




Why is animation still one of the most powerful motivators and influencers for selling ideas, services and products? I think it's because cartoons were the first things that touched our young virgin brain matter as soon as we were old enough to prop ourselves up in front of the television.

Cartoons, for many, are our first exposure to the world outside. How many times have you heard someone say "Bugs Bunny was my introduction to the opera!"



Rossini's Barber of Seville still echos through my mind as "Welcome to my shop... let me cut your mop."

But cartoons have also been a powerful selling tool over the years.

I remember as a child, seeing the Lucky Charms box and the Lucky Charms leprechaun. The box just magically ended up in my mom's shopping cart. We got as far as the check out before she quietly pulled it out and hid it behind a LifeSavers cardboard stand.

The original commercials in the 60's had children chasing the leprechaun. Catch a leprechaun, keep the cereal. I guess my mom didn't see the commercial.




Times have changed considerably when you look at the new Lucky Charms commercial featuring a mash up of an auto-tune leprechaun mixed in with various current and nostalgic footage.

 

I remember that period in the 80's when moms joined together to ban violence in cartoons.  The result? Hundreds of cartoons from eras by gone were sliced and diced to take out all the bams, boffs and bonks, leaving the cartoons an empty shell of the original.


Then there was  a counter movement in the 90's with the advent of Ren and Stimpy, South Park and my personal favourite, Itchy and Scratchy.



I particularly loved this one because it was a perfect homage to those war time shorts that entertained but also leaned on patriotism.
 
Cartoons have always been a huge influence for us in our shop.  Which is why I pushed to create "The Big Bad Wolf Calling" below.  The Itchy and Scratchy influence  was definitely top of mind when we created this Google video for Debtcare TV.

We did keep the blood to a minimum though.



No anvils were harmed in the making of this commercial.



 


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.