Quick Lesson on Ambient Media: King Kong 3D

What is Ambient Media?

Any kind of advertising that occurs in some non-standard medium outside the home. This type of advertising is fairly new, dating back to 1999 and originally established in the British market. Ambient media advertising can be used in conjunction with mainstream traditional media, or used equally effectively as a stand-alone activity. The key to a successful ambient media campaign is to choose the best media format available and combined with effective message.

The following are some reasons for the growth of ambient media:

  • A decline in the power of traditional media.
  • A greater demand for point-of-sale communications.
  • Its ability to offer precise audience targeting.
  • Its general versatility.
Now that we have the basics down, let’s see it in action!

King Kong 360 – 3D. The scary, giant gorilla found its home last summer in California. Billed as “the world’s largest 3-D experience,” the park attraction celebrated its grand opening at Universal Studios Hollywood with big advertising buzz and fanfare. 

This is one of the TV ads used in the campaign:

…and here is the Ambient Media stunt:

Huge footprints left in the sand on Santa Monica Beach, complete with a crushed lifeguard vehicle for the new King Kong 3-D attraction, which opened at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park last summer.

Pretty cool, right?

Country Brands: The Colombia is Passion Example

Well, call me biased. I had to showcase my pride and joy, my homeland, ‘mi tierra querida‘: our Colombia. 

A beautiful land with two oceans; three mountain ranges; incredible forests and landscapes; a sea of seven colors; a rich indigenous past mixed with unstoppable progress and growth; a country full of creative and incredible people. As a well known advertising campaign stated it: The Risk is Wanting to Stay

What can I say? I grew up reading the works of master Garcia Marquez, yes, I am a ‘hundred years of solitude‘ child. Who doesn’t love Shakira and her sexy moves? Did you know that Colombia is the second largest exporter of flowers in the world after the Netherlands? This may come as a shocker but yes, we are indeed ranked amongst the happiest people on earth. Here is an interesting fact 10% of the world’s flora and fauna is in Colombia despite the fact that its geographical extent covers less than 1% of the earth. 

A few years ago a group of researchers set out to find a common denominator amongst Colombians. The purpose of this project was to find competitive advantages that would position the country as an attractive target for tourism and foreign investment, but most importantly to create a unified self-image amongst Colombians. It was concluded that the driving force for our tenacity and excellence is passion. Passion is the best raw material of our citizens. More than a brand, Colombia is Passion, has become a feeling that identifies a unique social and cultural group: Colombians. 

Why a country brand?  In recent years Colombia has made progress in different areas such as security, economy and quality of life indicators, among others. Every day, Colombians are noted for business, artistic, sporting and personal achievements. This new reality allowed Colombia to consider the need to generate a label that would become a powerful tool to reflect these changes to the world.

Other Countries Establishing Their Country Brands:

Australia:  There is nothing like Australia

South Africa:  It’s Possible 
**Not only their country branding campaign has been successful, keep in the mind the national pride and global exposure they gained through the recent world cup thanks to FIFA**

Spain:  I need Spain 

India:  Incredible India

Talk about large scale marketing and advertising. These campaigns have taken whole countries and changed their images for its inhabitants and the world itself.



**click arrow up and cc to see English subtitles**
Of course smoking kills. Of course there should be extensive campaigns creating awareness of this fact. Of course, of course, of course…but do they all have to be gory? do they all have to show miserable scary looking people? After a while we become immune to this approach (at least I have).

Check out this Russian ad: Childish Excuses

2011 Super Bowl Ads

I found this ad to be the most pleasant surprise of the night 🙂 Without a doubt, the best ad this Super Bowl brought us was the Volkswagen – Darth Vader – commercial. Great mix: cute, clean, short, memorable, easy to understand and counting with over 13 million views after the game. Someone at Deutsch http://www.deutschinc.com  (the ad agency responsible for this ad) must be very happy these days.
The Healing Power of Doritos. I do not like Doritos but definitely love the smile their commercials put on my guy friends’ faces…The big surprise here is that the creators of this ad are not geniuses from a famous agency. Two “nobodies from nowhere” (quoting USA Today) are the creators of this ‘masterpiece’. Unemployed brothers from Batesville, Ind. came up with the idea and cashed in an award for the modest amount of $1 million!

Chevy Runs Deep. The bad news: the campaign’s slogan is still a little disturbing (at least for me). I can hear someone’s voice right now saying: ‘that’s what she said’. The idea behind the slogan is to broaden Chevy’s image, break it out of the box. Using loose wording allows for flexibility, I say it’s confusing but oh well. Furthermore, aside from being funny the ad says absolutely nothing about Chevy, its products, commitment, brand positioning…nothing. They are lucky Ms. Evelyn is a hot looking chick otherwise their dollars would have been wasted on this one. The good news: the ad was nicely executed and pretty funny. The great news: the car industry is bouncing back…this year’s Super Bowl was dominated by car ads, there were so many of them it is hard to remember them all!

What’s a Bieber? I am undecided about this one. I love the fact that Mr. Bieber can crack a joke at his own expense (in case you did not notice the guy at the end of the ad saying: ‘it looks like a girl’ is Justin Bieber dressed as an old man). Reviews on this ad are very mixed so I can’t even be influenced or persuaded by anyone else’s opinion. 

Et Al: There were some other good ads, Bridgestone Tires did good with its beaver karma ad. Coke was all over the place (at least the slogan was consistent: Open Happiness), I miss the Always Coca Cola days.
Pepsi was a disaster, Pepsi Max? ugh, the name alone spells failure, I guess we will wait and see. Go Daddy was a huge disappointment, however the company claims that their ‘The Contract’ commercial broke all past traffic records to their site. Brisk Tea and Eminem, not a good one. Eminem’s appearance in the Brisk’s ad took so much away from his Chrysler-Detroit commercial. The Chrysler ad was excellent: “Imported from Detroit” was a great tagline and the ad itself captured the American spirit. Sketchers and Kim Kardashian: blah, gorgeous girl, stupid ad. BMW: Designed in America, Built in America. We ought to give them credit for trying.
VERIZON: not only is this giant making the right moves to dominate the wireless communications/data management industry, they completely surprised us by bringing back the “I can hear you now” dude. He has gained a few pounds (loved that) keeping it realistic. When my friends saw his face pop in the screen their reaction was priceless: “Dude, he is back!” as if a long lost friend had just popped in to say hi. Good job!

A final thought on ad remakes. I think that ‘borrowing’ and/or ‘improving’ someone else’s ideas is allowed in the advertising game. After all certain concepts are much like primary colors. However not all attempts to improve a classic prove to be successful. Judge for yourself:


**I prefer the 1984 one by far**