A Cliché in New York

Original Photo: Dennis Stock

The Original, Photo: Dennis Stock

Fiftyseven years ago Dennis Stock, a young photojournalist working for Magnum Agency, took a photo of an up and coming actor walking down a cold and rainy Times Square in New York.

The actor was James Dean and he died a few months later in a car crash.

It’s a beautiful and atmospheric picture. A classic photo with iconic status.

The problem is that you probably have seen it a thousand times on postcards, in magazines, on the walls of teenage rooms and imitated in advertising. Therefore, the picture has lost its substance and turned into a cliché of a cool but sensitive guy.

Today brands want to be authentic and everything but clichés. Brands may joke with stereotypes and prejudices in their advertising, but to try to use clichés in storytelling is quickly revealed (by the consumers) as bad attempt to be something they are not.

It is therefore rather strange that the Swedish clothing company J. Lindeberg wrap themselves in grainy black and white images from Times Square in their new campaign.

World famous fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh has taken the  beautiful pictures of serious young people at this very well-known place in New York.

Nice but you have seen that feeling too many times before.

Photo Peter Lindbergh

Photo Peter Lindbergh







Agency: ITEM Design Studio


The Vandals of The Economist

Here a guerilla campaign in Stockholm from The Economist (see picture). The message is targeted at the commuters who pouring into Stockholm city in the morning – tired  bankers staring on the ground on their way to the office.

No, the copy is not written at the zebra crossing. The agency, Crowd, has washed up the words from the dirty street with a pressure washer and a template. Smart but despite this, the local authority claims (in Swedish) The Economist can be engaged in vandalism (The City Hall of Stockholm has zero tolerans on graffitti).

Agency: Crowd

A Painful Idea

In 1999 healthcare company McNeil had a huge Swedish success with the new pain killer Ipren. The main reason for the success was a surreal commercial. As the leading role  was ”The Ipren man”, a short wacky guy acting as a guitar playing pain killer. Surreal indeed and, of cause, very funny.

In the following years we saw several variations on ”The Ipren man” and it was fun most of the time.

Anyway, last year the agency, Garbergs, killed the idea about the pain killer man. But didn’t have any stand in. Instead they made a commercial in which the marketing department at the healthcare company doesn´t have any new ideas for a commercial. Not funny at all.

Garbergs is, one year later, still working with that idea. In a new commercial the staff at the marketing departement are testing ideas submitted by the public. And they look like morons.

The pay off is ”Pleas send us your Ipren song and you can win 50 000 kronor ($7500).”

It is still not funny.

Agency: Garbergs

A Sweet Story from the Future

When companies have visions of tomorrow – it’s always boring. See, for example, the stiff business woman in the science fiction from Microsoft.

This kind of future never evokes curiosity. Usually it is random selections from the R&D Department and the rest is cgi. Touchscreens, touchscreens, touchscreens everywhere and despite that everyone touches everything it is very tidy eveywhere.

The new future film, a commercial for a new broadband service, from the Swedish telephone company TeliaSonera has all the ingredients of traditional company future . But in one way it’s different: it has a sweet love story.

The action takes place at a movie studio and there is an explanation for that. The commercial is directed by team Björn Stein/Måns Mårlind. They did a Hollywood appearance last year directing the vampire flick ”Underworld Awakening”.

But unfortunately, there are no exciting vampires in the future of TeliaSonera.

Agency: DDB Stockholm

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