A few weeks back, our Creative Director & CSO was poring over Damn Good Advice (For People With Talent!), a genuinely legendary tome by the even-more legendary New York advertising doyen George Lois. This book – which serves both as a list of (largely) actionable anecdotes and a brief masterclass in the art of marketing – got us thinking just how poor so much contemporary publicity material is (and in stark contrast to Lois’ brilliant mid-to-late twentieth-century portfolio). Anodyne soundtracks, sub-fascist graphic design and interchangeable actors and actresses characterise far too much of today’s output, particularly in the once-vibrant territories of the US and UK. Truly memorable advertising is largely confined to Asia.
Conversely, Turkish Airlines is one of those very few corporations which is demonstrably producing world-class marketing. Granted, they also have a world-class budget and the ability to leverage global icons such as Lionel Messi, but so do innumerable other entities which are churning out world-class dross; YouTube views in the hundreds of millions for Turkish Airlines’ marvellous 2012 television spot featuring Messi and Kobe Bryant (Kobe vs Messi: Legends on Board – Turkish Airlines, 6th December 2014) testify to this quality.
Turkish Airlines’ latest TV advertisement, Drogba vs. Messi: #EpicFood (14th November 2014) – which features an increasingly furious Didier Drogba alongside Messi, that ultimate itinerant epicure – also stars a face which will be at least somewhat familiar to readers of this very blog: Tatjana Apukhtina (‘TatiAna’), the multi-talented co-founder of the wildly sensational mobile app Looks Good On Me.
On one level this is no surprise: Apukhtina’s sublime visual aesthetic and supreme work ethic scream success on a global level. But what might be more surprising is that she also stars in Mediolana’s forthcoming publicity campaign, scheduled to be rolled out in 2015. And such is the quality of TatiAna’s footage, that frankly – and we say this with all due respect – by the end of the editing process we sat there, gleamy-eyed and wondering to ourselves: Lionel who?