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    The window dressers

    Advertising firms could be forgiven for feeling under siege. After all, it’s tough to get your message through in a world of broadband internet, cable TV, DVD and time-shifting TiVos, with clients demanding ever deeper brand impact with the lucrative but fickle Generations X and Y. However, with all these competing tensions, it’s easy to forget that a cleverly-framed message will always cut through the noise. These nine advertisements from creative Australasian firms caught our eye. Smart trumps loud every time.

    In an age where technology has removed much of the personal touch from communication, Australia Post reminds us that receiving a hand-written letter is just like receiving a warm hug. Originally, this advertisement was created to appear in Peacekeeper Magazine to highlight the role that Australia Post plays in keeping defence personnel in contact with loved ones. It was so well received that Australia Post then decided to run it in other magazines in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. The success of the initial “hug” advertisement led to a second concept being developed earlier this year to coincide with Mother’s Day. (A third is currently in the pipeline for release later this year.)
    Client – Jane Standish, National Product Manager, Letters Group (Australia Post)
    Agency – M&C Saatchi, Melbourne
    Creative Director – Steve Crawford
    “Without your donations, research will stop” was the message delivered by Multiple Sclerosis Australia in an ambient advertising campaign run throughout MS Week (June 3-9). Cummins and Partners created an ambient installation called the “Coin-Operated Scientist”, a mini-research laboratory built with a coin slot in the front. Inside, a scientist sat slumped and motionless. When people made donations he sat upright and conducted science experiments until the money ran out. MS Australia also produced a display advertisement showing a naked woman with “use by” (but no dates) stamped on various parts on her body, signifying the uncertain impact MS can have on the physiology of sufferers. A poignant television commercial entitled the ‘the saboteur’ was also produced as part of the campaign.
    Client: Multiple Sclerosis Australia
    Agency: Cummins & Partners, Melbourne
    Executive Creative Director: Sean Cummins
         Click image for slideshow.

    The Saboteur

    Smaller businesses often achieve impact beyond their modest advertising budgets through an extra dash of creativity. The Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (formerly the Sydney Dogs Home) enlisted the help of advertising agency M&C Saatchi to promote the fact that cats, and not just dogs, were available for adoption. Aside from promoting the name change, these fur-covered envelopes were sent to prominent media outlets and influencers in an attempt to garner free publicity. The campaign was so successful that within the first week of mailing, five articles had been written and a story was run on a local current affairs TV program (free coverage worth $85,000 from a mailing costing a total of $269).
    Client: Sydney Dogs and Cats Home
    Advertising Agency: M&C Saatchi Sydney
         Click image for slideshow.

    You know what they say about big hands? Big sales! Or, at least, this was Target’s bullseye when it ran the “big toys” ambient advertising campaign. Target attracted the attention of passing shoppers by positioning performers in front of stores recreating scenes from any child’s playtime fantasies. The “big toys” campaign proved a big hit and won several prominent advertising awards, including a Silver lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, the advertising equivalent of its film festival namesake.
    Client: Target
    Agency: The Campaign Palace, Melbourne, Australia
    Art Director: Ben Green
         Click image for slideshow. 

    Playstation. Xbox. Wii. Pokemon. Digimon. Tamagotchis. We live in a world where children are surrounded by excuses to avoid the outdoors. In this print campaign for Tonka, the biggest brand in little boy’s toys, kids are reminded that outside is where the real action is. Appealing to both sons and the inner-child in fathers, the ads suggest that, with the right equipment, imagination is the only limit.
    Client: Tonka
    Agency: DDB, Sydney, Australia
    Creative Director. Steve Back
         Click image for slideshow. 

    In recent years, Australian road safety messages have relied heavily on confronting and bloody images. However, a district county in New Zealand has opted for a more subtle awareness campaign that, arguably, packs even greater wallop for motorists. Dubbed the “flash before your eyes” campaign, the Rodney District Council strategically placed billboards so drivers are faced with the unfolding story of a man’s life ended all too quickly. It’s a poignant message delivered directly to motorists during their contemplative commute. Let’s just hope no accidents have been caused by wandering eyes.
    Client: Rodney District Council, New Zealand
    Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New Zealand
    Executive Creative Director: Mike O’Sullivan
    Let’s face it, everyone hates using public toilets. But sometimes Mother Nature is a cruel master. In this fantastic example of ambient advertising, Kleenex constructed home-stylised cubicles in several sports stadiums and shopping centres to promote its new range of “flushable wipes”. The aim is to make you “feel more at home wherever you go.” BYO reading material.
    Client: Kleenex
    Advertising Agency: JWT, Sydney, Australia
    Creative Directors: Andy Dilallo, Jay Benjamin
    Sneaker Freaker is a bi-annual magazine dedicated solely to shoes. Clearly, off-the-shelf advertising was never going to fly with this niche crowd. This campaign, devised by DBB Sydney, created surreal situations that emphasise the unique importance footwear holds for those who populate the sneaker sub-culture – without ever showing a pair of sneakers. Sneaker Freaker is distributed to over 25 countries around the world and its advertising campaign, much like its content, is quickly growing in popularity.
    Client: Sneaker Freaker Magazine
    Agency: DDB, Sydney, Australia
    Executive creative director: Matt Eastwood

         Click image for slideshow.

    From sand to sea, this quintessentially iconic display advertisement from Australian-based Tasco binoculars is quite the eye-catcher. Here, Tasco promotes the power of its binoculars by incorporating several commonly-acknowledged elements of Australian identity – sun, surf lifesavers, the outback, confidence, ingenuity and humour. The ad, which was initially designed as a poster for the Photo Marketing Association International trade show, has since been well received on several international advertising websites.
    Client: Tasco Binoculars
    Advertising Agency: Clemenger Proximity, Syndey, Australia
    Creative Director: Glenn Chandler