Brands we wish we'd worked on montage - Lanvin chocolate, Brewdog beer, HEBS anti-smoking campaign, Arcade Fire HTML5 video

From Lanvin Chocolate to HEBS anti-smoking adverts - campaigns we wish we'd worked on

8 Oct 2015

3 min read

It's been fun but all good things must come to an end - it's our third and last post on creative campaigns we wish we'd had the chance to work on.

Here, we admire some of the brilliant ways brands have promoted their messages through surreal imagery, audacious marketing stunts, humorous advertising and digital innovation.

Dali's Lanvin Chocolate campaign

- Mark Waters, Designer, Glasgow

Not just a surrealist painter, Dali was a marketing genius. A shameless self-promoter, he knew how to grab attention and create a brand that would keep people guessing and coming back for more. People don't realise quite how much Dali's surreal methods have influenced modern marketing. A perfect example of this is the 1968 advert he created for Lanvin Chocolate in which he played the starring role:

The advert is simple, he takes a bite of chocolate and says 'I'm crazy about Lanvin Chocolates' and, memorably, his infamous moustache curls and wiggles in pleasure. If you watch TV today you'll be familiar with adverts that make you go 'what the f**k was that all about'. Although commonplace now, it's all thanks to Dali's pioneering of surrealism in advertising. A perfect example would be the 2012 Drambuie advert which oozes with Dali's influence:

Dali went on to create more adverts and notably designed the Chupa Chup logo while pursuing his many other careers in fashion, theatre, jewellery design, photography and, of course, fine art, all of which he left a lasting impression on.

I wish I could have worked on the Lanvin Chocolate adverts because it would have been an amazing experience to learn from such an influential and eccentric character.

Health Education Board for Scotland, anti-smoking campaigns

- Jude Kerrigan, Director of Client Services, Glasgow

In the late 90s / early 2000, the Health Education Board for Scotland produced some highly memorable campaigns on safe sex and anti-drugs targeting youth culture. The two that stand out for me are the futuristic Dr Seuss style Blue Sticks animation and fictional band Stinx video, both anti-smoking commercials.

Education commercials, like these, have such an important role to play in our society and the way we choose to live our lives. It would be easy to slip into a lecturing tone and alienate this audience. Instead, these adverts are entirely credible. They use language and themes that actually resonate with young people. Blue Sticks is direct and states the obvious: cigarettes 'taste bogging'. If you know that, and those around you admit it, why on earth would you? Simple.

Stinx was phenomenally successful and humorous in its parody of a sassy girl band. Shot on location in South Africa and recorded like a genuine pop song with dance routines and a storyline, the commercial showed boys repelled by the smoking heroines. Being smokin’ is literally cancelled out by smoking itself.

I would love to work on a project like this. These campaigns are powerful enough to change attitudes and genuinely make an impact on the quality and longevity of lives.

HTML5 Google Chrome - The Wilderness Downtown project

- David Johnson, Digital Designer, Glasgow

In 2010, HTML5 was still in an experimental stage and the specification had not yet reached final recommendation status. Google collaborated with Arcade Fire on The Wilderness Downtown project, to both launch the band's new video for We Used to Wait and showcase the capabilities of HTML5 in the new Chrome browser.

When I first watched the video, I had never seen such rich, interactive content within a browser before. Choreographed windows, pop-ups displaying video, custom-rendered maps, interactive flocking birds and animation composited dynamically over a street view...and all timed with the music. Procedural drawing tools even allowed you to scribble a message to your younger self.

This project was technically groundbreaking but what made it special for me was how it used technology to create an immersive experience. The song wasn't bad either!

Arcade Fire - 'We used to Wait video still

Brewdog's 'Hello my name is Vladimir' campaign

- Catherine Watson, Digital Marketer, Glasgow

My favourite ever PR/marketing stunt was Brewdog's 'Hello my name is Vladimir (Not for Gays)' campaign to coincide with the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. Brilliant and daring, the campaign was an out-and-out protest against Putin's anti-homosexuality laws as well as a huge PR success.

If you don't remember it, the BrewDog guys sent a crate of 'Hello, My name is Vladimir' beer to the Kremlin, the Russian embassy in London and the Russian consulate in Edinburgh. An instant viral hit with the public, the campaign resulted in masses of column inches and tens of thousands of #notforgays tweets.

The statement on the bottle was typical of BrewDog's irreverent and outspoken tone: 'Hello, my name is Vladimir. I am 100 percent hetero and will pass laws to prove it. Drinking me gives you the energy, ignorance and dogmatism required to shoot a deer (with your top off) and pass internationally denounced, discriminatory legislation (top optional) before you've even had your caviar breakfast.'

Everything Brewdog has done is an absolute masterclass in PR. My other favourite moment was the launch of their 'Never Mind the Anabolics' beer with added steroids - their tribute to the 2012 Olympics. Controversial and clever, I can't think of a more exciting, witty or anarchic brand. A marketer's dream.

Brewdog 'Hello my name is Vladimir' beer bottle and glass

#advertisingcampaigns #brandmessaging #innovation #marketingcampaigns #team999

Written by

999 Design logo

Team 999