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Canine Technology: Be More Dog

I’ve seen a bit of discussion online about the new O2 ad from VCCP – not all of it positive. But before I go on, have a look for yourself:

I like it. Yes, it’s not instantly clear what it’s got to do with phones and yes we’re probably reaching saturation point in terms of animals in ads what with all those meerkatscats with thumbs and dancing ponies – and that’s before you even rewind back to the PG chimps and Andrex Puppy.

But ‘be more dog’ made me feel and it made me think. Even a cynical cat person like myself had a hard time suppressing a smile – and that’s something you can’t say for a lot of the crap that fills up the breaks. And if you want the plannery bollocks, there’s a nice observation in there about how jaded we are about technology, and in Britain, how jaded people are about life in general. We moan about our mobile internet being a little slow but forget that it didn’t even exist (for most of us) ten years ago.

The sign of a good creative idea is that it contains a point of view that transcends a specific execution and offers a platform for new thinking – and this campaign probably needs to build a bit more before it really starts to feel distinctively ‘O2′.

But the TV spot also shows the importance of ‘how you say it’ in the first place – in this case the power of a simple analogy. If Samsung or LG had tried to tackle this topic, we probably would have ended up with some generic, pompous guff about ‘limitless possibilities’ or ‘the power of curiosity’. ‘Be more dog’ manages to talk optimistically about technology in a way that’s down-to-earth and charming.

If you’re still reading, there are also some interesting digital extensions – throw frisbees from your phone to your PC, make a (rather heavily branded) cat/dog video for a friend or watch Dom Jolly getting overexcited about cool new gadgets etc

Top 3 stupid bloke ads of the week

Being surrounded in Hong Kong by rather earnest ads for health supplements and tech products, I’ve started to miss the tongue-in-cheek humour that you see elsewhere. I thought I’d redress the balance by posting three new ads from around the world that are unashamedly aimed at blokes. Yes, they may make men look like one-dimensional idiots, but they’re still more memorable than a million FMCG product demos.

Australia has its fair share of awful ads (i.e. pretty much anything from Harvey Norman), but one area it consistently excels is beer advertising. My favourite of the week is BMF’s spot for Tap King. It combines what seems like quite a cool new gadget with Lionel Ritchie crooning in a fridge. And they’ve even managed to make the instructional video reasonably amusing.

Next up is one for Cerveza Andes in Argentina, which asks why the most devastating hurricanes always seem to be named after women:

The final one for Stowford Press Cider feels a bit derivative, but it’s still better than the terrible Carlsberg ads that aired recently in the UK. And when you consider it’s the brand’s first ever national TV ad, it isn’t a bad effort: