What makes these ads great?

When the lights dimmed and the screen came to life in the banquet hall, members and guests of the American Advertising Federation-Houston watched, in silence and envy, the award-winning ads of some of our city’s top agencies. 

The new "My Houston" campaign was one of them.

Another was a subtle Hispanic response to Donald Trump’s stance on migrants: Lopez-Negrete Communications’ TV campaign for Ram trucks.

The March 23 panel discussion, "Dynamics of Award-Winning Work," led by "The High-Tech Texan" Michael Garfield, included five panelists:

  • Jeffrey McKay, principal and creative director at Pennebaker 
  • Rowan Gearon, vice president of creative services at Adcetera 
  • David Malamud, brand-management partner at Oak Interactive 
  • Fernando Osuna, chief creative officer at Lopez Negrete Communications
  • Holly Clapham-Rosenow, chief marketing officer at Houston First Corp.

'Interactivity is the key.'

Clapham-Rosenow noted that the "My Houston" spot sped from concept to completion in just four days. She said an interactive "puzzle-piece" opening to the Web ad increased its open rate to four times that of the previous campaign.

'Breaking the mold'

A second Lopez Negrete TV campaign, "From the ordinary to the extraordinary," featured actor Gael García Bernal promoting the Chrysler C200 sedan.

Osuna described the midsize sedan as one that "no one really likes. In that case, we had to break the mold [with our ads] or no one would pay attention. So we tweaked the idea of ‘meeting your younger self,'" he said. 

'Physical stores support Web sales.'

Adcetera’s Gearon, describing his agency’s work for HP Technology, said “Retail is becoming more like the Web: Heat maps in the stores can identify a customer’s movement, for example. Now the physical stores actually support Web sales instead of vice versa.”

'Brands need content for people to share.'

The insights were abundant, and I’ll summarize more in my next post. But my favorite comment—for obvious reasons—was Osuna’s: 

"Brands are trying to be more transparent. They need content for people to share. That’s a nice change in advertising."

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