The creative director at Publicis•Poke shares five projects he's seen over the years that have stayed with him for their ability to evoke uniquely strong and emotional connections
For some time now, I’ve been trying to develop an approach to my team's (and my own) creative work through inspiration, methodologies or sheer experimental processes that seek to spark some sort of emotion. #EmotionIsThePotion I call it. Cheesy as hell, I know. But hey, aren’t we all that are trying to sell something to someone else? But the matter of fact is that emotions are the last bastion of humanity that we all have left versus the myriad of technological BS that’s thrown our way day in, day out: programmatic, SEO, performance marketing, big data, research scores, GRPs etc. At some point, the work becomes so cold, so analytical, so stiff, that it stops moving any human needle towards that final action - buying stuff.
Emotions come in a wide array of colours, shapes and sizes, in a long spectrum of reactions that span a multitude of expected - and sometimes unexpected – responses. Understanding people should be the number one thought in advertising school - or any school for that matter - as only then will we be able to craft truly impactful and emotional work. When I was very generously invited to write these lines, I knew exactly the work that I wanted to showcase, because these were the campaigns that most touched me over these last 40 years. #EmotionIsThePotion indeed...
Coca-Cola - 'Can’t Beat the Feeling'
Agency: McCann Erickson
HAPPINESS. It’s the first big ad that I have a recollection of. Back then, I was seven years old, and Portugal only had two TV channels. No satellites. No cables. To say that this spot would air every evening for a good year or two is a euphemism. Or at least, that’s how I remember it. All in all, it’s pure happiness in a bottle, or in this case, an ad.
Wrigley's Mars - 'The Story of Sarah and Juan'
Agency: Energy BBDO
Production: Rattling Stick
Director: Pete Riski
Post: The Mill Chicago
Music: Stir Post Audio
IN LOVE. I cried. A lot. Kill me, right? I’ve a soft spot for lovey-dovey cute stories. Yes, it’s a gum ad, but the story is there, the music is there and the acting is there. It’s memorable and makes me like the brand. And you want to know something? I did the same thing as Juan to my fiancée. True story. Booyah!
Donate Life - 'The World’s Biggest Asshole'
Agency: The Martin Agency
Post: Cut+Run LA x The Mill LA
Music: Lime Studios x Duotone
AMUSED. A funny but important story. Coleman Sweeney may be the 'World’s Biggest Asshole', but he (or this ad) convinced me to become an organ donor. Hey, maybe I was an asshole as well. But I can now go in peace knowing that my passing may help save lives. Cheers Coleman, you asshole!
MacMillan Cancer Support - 'Whatever It Takes'
Agency: AMV BBDO
Production: Iconoclast London
Director: Jonathan Alric
Editorial: STITCH Editing
Post: MPC London
GUTTED. A punch in the gut. What else can be said about this phenomenal piece of work in which tears flow in a mix of sadness and reassurance that these health and care professionals are the absolute heroes of our modern age? Borderline sublime.
Under Armour - 'Rule Yourself'
Director: Wally Pfister
Colour: The Mill NY
Music: Q Department
INSPIRING. A fantastic comeback story told masterfully at all levels. American swimmer Michael Phelps made a comeback on the Olympics in Rio 2016, to prove to himself that he was - and still is - the ultimate Olympic champion. To witness his hardships, his trainings and his day-to-day transported all of us to the mindset of a chosen few. The soundtrack 'The Last Goodbye' by The Kills is just the cherry on top of a most bittersweet cake that will stay with me forever...