School’s out Friday

Time to wipe off the cobwebs and push out a School’s out Friday post for the holiday season. Sainsbury’s Christmas Ad this year brings Mog the cat to life. I remember Mog very well from my time spent in the Armata Primary School Library during my childhood years, and the CGI animation captures perfectly the characteristics of the cat who always found herself in a spot of bother.

Back in the 70’s, when I was reading Mog books in the school library, there was no such thing as CGI animation. Take a look at the behind the scenes making of this 3 minute 30 second mini movie and marvel at how far we’ve come. Mog has been lifted from the pages of Judith’s Kerr’s book and seeing her reaction to the ‘coming to life’ of the character she dreamt up in 1970 is a pleasure to behold.

I recently visited Berlin where I presented at OEB, and one of the true pleasures of the experience was being able to see first hand how a European country celebrates Christmas. The Christmas Markets of Berlin exceeded my expectations. I became a convert to Gluhwein and I had my fair share of German culinary delights. Here are a few pics to help you understand why I’m searching desperately for Christmas upon my return to a very warm Melbourne summer.

IMG_0483 IMG_0482 IMG_0479 IMG_0477 IMG_0768 IMG_0765 IMG_0939

My recommendation – if you can ever get the opportunity to experience a European Christmas, take it.

School’s out Friday

I’m currently in the throes of trying to pack as much as I possibly can into my ‘Language of our Times’ class in the final weeks of term. We were looking at viral videos recently (and at its essence, what are the qualities of a video that makes it move to viral status) and have returned to this in the last two days, prompted by what I’ve viewed on mainstream television and what has run past my Twitter stream.

The Qantas ad, above, caught my attention while I was making inroads on correction. It led me away from the correction pretty quickly, enticed as I was with the soundtrack and storylines that were unfolding in front of me. A two minute slot in primetime must cost a fair whack, but the 300,000+ views it has racked up on YouTube in 8 days is quite possibly paying dividends for the Qantas brand.

We followed this up today with two Christmas ads coming out of the UK. The first was the John Lewis ad below that has racked up a more than impressive 14 million+ views on YouTube in 8 days. And yes, I’m betting John Lewis sees this as an investment that has paid off.

The second is the Christmas ad from Sainsbury’s, a UK Supermarket chain. It was made in partnership with The Royal British Legion and is inspired by real events from 100 years ago. I dare you to watch it and not tear up.

It was released two days ago and has racked up 4 million+ views to date. I’m figuring this is one with shareability written all over it. Check back in six days and I’m betting it’s running rings over the John Lewis ad.

What these ads have enabled is some great discussion around what makes an effective marketing campaign in a world where YouTube rules and mainstream media is becoming less relevant in the lives of the everyday citizen. A good discussion to have and one that I think my students have benefited from. If I find them all leading marketing campaigns in future years I’ll know I’ve done a good job. 😉

I’ll be grabbing some shut eye this weekend and gearing up for a busy few weeks as the year comes to an end. Rest up folks and enjoy some down time. 🙂