L.L.Bean’s clever print ad, Oslo Tourism stunt and more: creative ideas of the week

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Among the many ads we see every day, only a few are noticed and remembered. Here are my picks of creative ads from last week: a clever print ad for L.L.Bean, a sculpture made of keys for IKEA…and more.

1. L.L.Bean: Be an Outsider

Every medium – print, radio, TV, outdoor or the web has certain unique characteristics. It is always fun when brands make best use of them – be it in print or radio (some examples here and here). Here is a print from L.L.Bean, the brand known for its outdoor gear which works only in the outdoors. When read indoors, the ad is almost blank – with only the phrase ‘Just bring this outside’ visible. When taken outside, rest of the copy shows up. It drives home the ‘Be an Outsider’ proposition of the brand cleverly and evokes ‘involvement’ from the reader. Apparently, the ad was made using photochromic ink, which is colorless indoors but turns to colors when exposed to ultraviolet light.


Agency: The Via Agency

2. Oslo Tourism: rescued

Marketing has always been about spotting opportunities to present a brand as a solution to a problem. When folks at Oslo Tourism spotted a seemingly innocuous Instagram post from a Kiwi couple in front of the famous Mona Lisa at the Louvre, in Paris. The image showed an eager crowd jostling to capture the image of the painting on their smartphones with the Kiwi travellers amused at the overcrowding.


Self(absorbed)ies with Mona Lisa ?

A post shared by Marela Glavaš (@marelaglavas) on

It was a perfect opportunity to promote Oslo where ‘over tourism’ isn’t a problem. It is a perfect PR-stunt in a convergent world where such ‘activations’ get tonnes of visibility across the world.

3. IKEA: Wireless Lamp

Tactical advertising is all about using the news of the day in a manner which connects back to your brand cleverly. It is tricky when one brand references another which is what IKEA did with their tactical ads referencing the new iPhone launches.

4. ZonaJobs: anti-millennial

Millennial bashing is a thing on the internet. Marketing’s obsession with millennial who seem to the prized target audience for every category, riles many (especially those who are erm…not millennials). This trend is captured well in this spot and sits well with the category advertised: job portal.

5. Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate

Trade portals covering the advertising industry usually write about big brand campaigns from big agencies. It was a pleasure to come across this campaign for a real estate brand from Maryland, created by a local agency. What’s more real estate category is not known for refreshing, endearing creative so it was nice to see one. Absolutely loved the line, ‘We sell houses. You make them homes’.

Agency: Kapowza, Baltimore

Other interesting works include a print ad for Snowbird – a ski resort in Utah which turned a one-star rating on its head. And then there is Natalie Portman for Dior – an ad which is lot more vivacious and lively than your usual luxury brand ad which is all too mysterious usually. Lastly, an unauthorised ‘Stranger Things’ bar got this creative ‘cease & desist’ letter from Netflix’s legal team. Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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