Gerry Human

executive creative director, Ogilvy & Mather

There’s so much great work out there that I love and adore but, to be honest, I don’t wish I’d done any of it.

As the great prophet Yoda said: "Envy leads to jealousy, jealousy leads to hate, hate leads to anger, anger leads to the dark side."

Maybe because I’m scared of the dark side, I’m not the envious type. I’m more of a gushy devotee sort. A fetishistic and obsessive admirer of originality and creative genius.

For me, prattling on about why the latest gold winners are great is too easy. You know that already. And if something has been viewed 60 million times on YouTube, chances are you’ve seen it too.

Advertising anoraks, however, read on.

After years of creating brilliant work for brands such as FedEx, Skittles, Combos and Crest, last year the creative genius Gerry Graf finally went out on his own and launched Barton F Graf 9000.

Take a look at his debut tour de force for Kayak. In particular "release the smoke", "forgive your son", "sing your favourite word" and "tell us why you love your dog".

Delight in the irreverent anti-advertising approach to almost everything – apart from that it’s a campaign designed to sell.

In this case, it’s selling how fast and easy it is to search and book a flight on Kayak.

It works like this: a series of research respondent-like people are put in front of a computer and asked to enter their dates and destination on Kayak’s website. Then, to show how quickly the website accesses a multitude of options, the respondent is asked to do an unexpected thing – like release a puff of smoke or sing their favourite word.

The campaign is stripped of all conventional advertising wisdom: no flattering lighting, no fancy art direction, no music or sound effects, no logo, no shouty announcer and no beautiful "addy" people.

That’s what makes it break through the clutter – each hilarious reveal comes as a complete surprise, precisely because of the apparent dullness of the set and cast.

The campaign illustrates the power and effectiveness of an original thought over the usual sensory overload in advertising.

Graf’s work always manages to be completely original and yet relevant at the same time. But I’m not even slightly jealous of the bastard.


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