Wake up and smell the coffee. My favorite flavor is a brand local to Modena called Caffe' Piu' Borghi. You'll notice that the site is in Italian and they have a blog where the managers work alongside with the marketing people. Look at the pictures, will you? The graphics and layout don't look as polished as the corporate site. Unplugged and completely comfortable with it. They get it!
Since I cannot get that coffee from here, I order a very good Lavazza Crema e Gusto.
I've talked about Pirelli calendars in a couple of posts. Italians can really do art well, and those are some of the most artistic and sensual works you could put on a wall to keep track of your schedule, yet remain timeless and tell you a story. [It was suggested I caution my readers that some of the images, while artistic, may be provocative.]
We've also talked about advertising as art and Richie and C.B. had some very interesting opinions in regard. You should bookmark those two blogs, they are very different from each other, yet equally intriguing. One of the things you may have noticed about this blog, is that regardless of the topic it brings together ideas and people in new ways that make you ponder. It's completely intended.
Back to Lavazza; they also produce a calendar every year. While their calendar is a bit more fantastic, it remains artistic. Each year they choose to tell a different story -- what a nice way to promote your product and service. [Same caution here as above]
If you navigate on the Lavazza site, you'll find that most of the information is organized through a channel interface, including 100 years of communication, from the "company" window. Their oldest ads in the Italian default screen are works of art; the most recent TV ads are skits starring popular comics and show personalities. As you go through the visuals, you'll see cultural underpinnings, especially for the '70s -- who could forget those years, in some ways they've come back to us.
If you work in an agency, this might provide a very interesting review of European campaigns and it's all explained in English. I've given you two examples: tires and coffee, both living in a crowded marketplace, yet managing to stand out superbly.
Have we moved away from storytelling in advertising? Have we become too preoccupied with downloading features and benefits at the expense of the problem we're trying to solve? In the morning, all I want is a home-brewed cup of good coffee so I can wake up and inhale my day.