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High Five: Felipe San Juan


The VP of operations and strategy at SAMY Alliance explores a brave bunch of ads that broke boundaries and dared to be different

High Five: Felipe San Juan

I believe advertising is a great space where society is mirroring itself. It is a great reflection of cultural and life events, and with the advent of technologies, it has become a rapidly expansive social reflection. Advertising pushes all of us to move forward, to look ahead, to push down barriers and expand our minds, like Steve Jobs honoured with the release of his ad campaign ‘Here’s to the Crazy Ones’, which was the starting point that has driven my choices below. I've chosen disruptive work from throughout the last two decades from brands that have pushed their vision and ambition beyond their industry limits. I hope you enjoy them...

Apple - 'Here’s to the Crazy Ones'

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day LA
Production: Venice Beach Editorial
Director: Jennifer Golub

“...because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Love him or loathe him, Steve Jobs changed the world, and had a great partner-in-crime to achieve it: Lee Clow, who helped him to ‘stay hungry, to stay foolish’. Lee had also an impact on the advertising industry breaking barriers and challenging the ad industry with what he called the ‘New Storytelling’. ‘Think Different’ was a milestone where both Steve and Lee pushed all of us to think differently, to grow. It is their way of saying: ‘Impossible is Nothing’.

Honda - 'Grrr'

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
Production: Nexus Studios
Director: Smith & Foulkes
Post: Pinewood Studios x The Moving Picture Company UK

Here is an inspirational campaign to push us to the ‘Power of Dreams’. Certainly very disruptive as it confronted the noisy, smelly and dirty diesel engines to become the heroines of green, fresh earth as they transform into a new quieter diesel engine. Accompanied by a flight of songbirds, the shining new engine floats above the scenery, the cartoon creatures below celebrating its arrival. This was a firm step from the brand to establish their new vision and philosophy, a passion to reinvent the automotive manufacturing for the better, delivered in a loveable and memorable way that stood out of the conventional automotive type of advertising these days. When you look at the endless possibilities opened by social media it is easy to see how this idea could have been communicated in so many interesting ways.

Evian - 'Live Young: Rollerskating Babies'

Agency: BETC Euro RSCG
Production: Partizan
Director: Jacques Etienne Stein
Post: MPC

'Roller Babies' was released in 2009, and yet today is still alive, keeping the same values, concept and visualisation. It is the first ever big production thought for the internet, becoming the viral-ad-of-all-times - one of those few perpetual campaigns. Who would have betted that it would achieve such a feat with the most undifferentiated product on the stage point of becoming an authentic lovemark. 'Roller Babies' set the way for a new strategy of seeding content, testing creative and building on a global brand. It’s one of those cases where consumers are driven by loyalty beyond reason, as the campaign is succeeding even today to promote huge consumer engagement through social metaphor of positive life choices, leveraging the deep cultural symbolism of water as a source of rejuvenation. I’m 55 years old, but drinking water keeps me with a youthful state of mind!

Netflix - 'Narcos: Spanish Lessons'

Agency: Alma DDB
Sound: Afrosound

Sit back and learn palabras (words) with drug lord, crime boss and linguist, Pablo Escobar, thanks to the popular show. When a tweeting fan pointed out that 'Narcos', an extremely popular Netflix show, was pretty much free Spanish lessons, it gave the agency an idea to promote season two of the show. Characters from the show gave a brief Spanish lesson, teaching fans the phrases you don’t exactly learn in grammar school. From there, we can appreciate the editorial craft, creativity and original content - all consequent with the agency’s phenomenal listening activity of fans in the social networks, that gave great and key inspiration to creative executions. Pure relevant organic content that bonded the audiences and the brand. In the run up to the launch of series two of 'Narcos', they came up with a series of Spanish lessons in collaboration with the leading language app, Babbel. Lessons were available in six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish), and they took the fan mania on social media even further.

Dove - 'Real Virtual Beauty'

Agency: LOLA MullenLowe
Production: Tungsteno Films
Director: Pedro Maccarone

In 2004, the 'Real Beauty' campaign already challenged the negative stereotypes that have been established by the beauty industry over many years, and which are perpetuated in everyday media. Dove's more recent campaign is based on a new research study in partnership with 'Women in Games', which shows that 60% of girls and 62% of women feel underrepresented in video games. The action advocates for the representation of women in video games through a series of avatars inspired by real women portraying different types of beauty, each one of them questioning the lack of representation, while proposing 'Let's make virtual beauty real'.

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High Five, Wed, 14 Dec 2022 12:30:02 GMT