Charlie buckets! What a great ad.

I think Elon Musk fell in love with this ad the first time he saw it. It’s been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, and he didn’t even have to pay for it. In fact, he never asked for it.

Modern Spaceship was spontaneously created by two recent college grads and their fledgling ad agency, Everdream. They just liked the company and its zero-emissions mission.

Imagine that! Fresh talent making fresh stuff, just because.

Elon’s positive acknowledgement and social media boost must have done wonders for them. The fact that they hit so many great points in the ad makes me think that success wasn’t that far ahead of them to begin with. Everdream was right in two critical ways:

1. The ad feels like the Tesla brand and the man who’s inextricably tied to it. The wondrous feeling you get from watching it really channels Elon Musk’s (excuse the word) aura. If you hear him talk, you can tell that there’s a child-like wonder that’s still going strong inside him. How else do you pursue your dream of building space cars and spaceships? Curiosity, exploration, dreaming. It’s Elon Musk, it’s Tesla, and it’s all in the ad.

2. Hooray for original thought! We’ve seen cars revving their engines on countless highways and sand dunes. Bringing us into an alternate universe was the right move, for us and for Elon. Sure, Elon loves space and stuff like that. Even beyond this, he’s the guy that’s been dubbed the “Willy Wonka of modern transportation”. This ad reconstructed Elon’s vision of a product that changes the world and brings us to a whole new petrol-free paradise. Maybe not a world of pure imagination, but as close as it gets.

Here’s the ad for the Model S that Elon commissioned himself. What do you think?

What does a great account manager look like?

Thanks to advertising, I’m tempted to say “fierce” and “sharp” in the way that a great pair of Louboutins or a pair of horn-rimmed Tom Ford glasses can make you look (and feel). Sadly, an YSL tote bag can’t keep everyone informed and contented, although if you think about it, it can produce a brief and work across multiple time zones…

There are a few key traits that make someone a great AC like being a great communicator, having the ability to maintain the client’s and creative year’s visions and juggle multiple priorities. But here’s something from Luke Sullivan’s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This! that explains it differently:

“The good ones have the soul of a creative person and will share your excitement over an idea. They’re articulate, honest, and inspiring, and… have a better batting average at selling your work”.

Adaptable, engaged, curious and inspired. Nice!

What I might know about advertising campaigns.

I’ve picked up a few things, here and there. I don’t mean to get right into copywriting clichés, but good expressions are worth repeating. Advertising is storytelling. Every company, product, brand and idea has a story to tell. If you work in advertising, you’re the one who’s going to tell it.

That all seems nice, simple and effortless. Great stories are made to look, sound and feel like that, too. But first, you’ll have to come up with a plan. (Insert The Client‘s ideas and diplomatic negotiations with the account manager about how it’s going to play out here). Then, based on a piece of paper that’s meant to describe your next little while of work, you’ll need to brainstorm it. Conceptualize it. Craft it. Rework it. Crop it. Script it. Review it. Fine tune it. Approve it. Publish it. Record it. Film it. Print it. Integrate it. Promote it.

Advertising campaigns involve all sorts of communications and marketing efforts. Strategists, creatives, writers, planners and specialists of all kinds find themselves working on different parts of the story together. Like food stylists, heavy machine operators and actors who speak Finnish. Before you know it, dozens of people are involved in making this story happen. Sometimes they’re even almost all in the same room, and that can be both exciting and scary. Your common goal is to work together on a singular vision despite differing strengths, weaknesses and values… personalities… and stress levels.

Oh, and with all that going on, have you talked to The Client lately? You know, the entity in the form of CEO or Marketing Director who brought you this company, product, brand and idea to work with. Remember, you’ll need to listen to them and act in their best interest while you efficiently lunge between all the moving parts of the project. Not only do you need to stay on target, but there’s a budget and timeline to respect. You need to make balancing those things look easy, too, while the client hovers over the buzzing little village of people building their story.

As someone who’s never worked on an advertising campaign for an agency, here’s something I could see being important: perspective. The project’s success is all in the way you see things. Focusing on the day-to-day events and creative vision that build up to the final product while keeping your eye on The Client‘s goal is key. If you’re in tune with The Client‘s goal on a daily basis, you’ll work more efficiently, produce better creative output, run less of a chance of getting sidetracked and you’ll be appreciated for it. You’ll create a trusting and effective relationship worth continuing with both your firm and your client.

I’m assuming that keeping in tune with the agreed-upon creative vision and logistics comes naturally. After all, I assume that you live, breathe and love what you do. Maybe a phone alarm might help keep The Client‘s goal in mind?
Ding! Client wants to attract younger audience through fresh print ads.
Ding! Client wants to promote new product line to existing audience.
Ding! Client wants to entertain and retain its audience.
How about every half hour? Maybe not.

But that’s your raison d’être: the audience. The whole point of advertising is to be heard and understood within a specific group of people. Especially in a digestible, aesthetic, measurable and user-friendly way.

Ultimately and broadly speaking, the end-product of a great advertising campaign should be memorable and worth experiencing again and again. You’ve done everything you could to make that happen, right? Your greatest hopes are that the story you’re telling hits all of its objectives, is smart, unique and gains momentum within the crowd that was meant to watch it.

Sounds intense? It’s like that, right?