Friday, May 9, 2008

A shmoke and a joke at Portfolio Night 6

I always dig a bit of strategic placing. I like how my supermarche houses the eggs next to the bacon and the cheese to develop thoughts of delicious omelette perfection. I dig how the milk follows the egg shelves, and leads one down the path of bread. The great land of Margarinus and Orangus Juicus is not far off. I'm a consumer. I've got no shame when it comes to product placement. I like my eggs and soldiers, and I like them in the same spot to remind me of just how good they are when purchased together.

So when I went out for a shmoke and a joke at ihaveanidea's Portfolio Night 6 in Toronto, I couldn't help but give a little high-five in my head to the kids at Taxi 2. Not only was there a fabulously interactive ad spot for Mini firmly in my eyeline [and a pretty amusing one at that], but it was strategically placed right outside of the entrance to the Rivoli, which housed this year's Portfolio Night 6 - an evening between Toronto's top creative directors, the young & hopefuls, and the young & hopefuls' portfolios o' dreams.

The ad for Mini is placed upon Toronto's triple slot garbage bins. For those of you who have never graced the T-Dot, our garbage bins are no simple means of disposal. Each silver bin, cylindrical in shape, has three compartments for the following categories: one for newspapers and magazines [to put in your transfers from the streetcar], one for cans and bottles [to put in the pop can that was chucked at your head on the streetcar], and one for litter only [to put in your snotty kleenex from when you cried after having at pop can chucked at your head on the streetcar].

Now, advertising on the city's bins is no new thing, nor are displays of art or graffiti. The following photo [in its original form at] displays photographic work part of Magneta Foundation's Flash Forward exhibit from fall 2007, where twenty garbage bins across the financial district were given a temporary makeover by displaying the work of emerging photographers from North America and the UK.

What Taxi 2 has done with their Mini ad campaign is to not only take advantage of the small-scale billboard space that the bins provide, but to incorporate the existing functions of the original bins into their design. First gold star!

They have been able to link the copy seamlessly in with the function of the object to create an amusing advert raging with referential metaphors! Second gold star!

AND... they placed their advert RIGHT before the entrance to Portfolio Night 6 - a spot in the eyeline of Toronto's top creatives and future creative superstars. Third gold star!

Whether this placement was purposeful or omelette-by-chance, it couldn't have been in a better spot. Many creatives spent last night losing their voices trying to encourage the young guns to start incorporating more interactive and 'stunting' spots into their portfolio books. Although print ads full of puns are still in demand, the CDs want to see more of a consumer-engaging quality to the work. This is the stuff they're begging for! Right outside the doors.

I just hope the young & hopefuls were paying attention to example A on their smoke breaks. I also hope that no one owning a SUV, Sedan or Minivan take the ads literally, because car keys are just like bad eggs...

Once gone, but never forgotten.

Photos courtesy of Me.
For more on Portfolio Night click here

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