Penguin Books: Gripping, 3

Advertising Agency: DDB Hong Kong

Creative Directors: Paul Chan

Copywriters: Paul Chan, Jay Lee

Art Directors: O’ Poon, Fei Leung 

Photographer: Steve Wong

Retouchers: Bon Leung, Joe Kam

Related videos by Shutterstock

41 comments

Jet Propulsion Lab's picture
Jet Propulsion Lab
10683 pencils

As a consumer, I don't get it. As a creative, I don't get it. Without ANY copy and/or tag line, I don't get it. I don't want anyone explaining this ad to me either, because I don't have that luxury in real life when I see this ad.

It does not say "escape." It does not say "immerse yourself in a story." This ad does not communicate anything.

Guest's picture
Guest

Fact that you doesn't understand it doesn't mean it's a bad ad. You don't want enyone to explain it to you? Too bad.

Its quuuuuuite simple. If you read a book, everything around you seems to disapear, because good book is compelling.

Cheers

Jet Propulsion Lab's picture
Jet Propulsion Lab
10683 pencils

That's exactly the kind of response I didn't want to get (yet, was afraid I was going to get.)

No, I "doesn't" understand this ad. And I ALWAYS get simple and smart advertsing immediately. This is not one of them. Being open to interpretation simply leads to confusion on the cosumers' part. It's begging for a good tag line for it to make sense.

And how do you know the book he's reading is "compelling"?

Oooooh, the title at the top says "gripping."

My bad!

:(

Guest's picture
Guest

OK, if he feels like "theres no other" in the middle of Hong Kong, in the middle of a day, the book is compelling.
True, you wont see the title of the ad in "real" life.

Jet Propulsion Lab's picture
Jet Propulsion Lab
10683 pencils

If the target audience can not make an immediate, direct connection with that guy in the ad, they don't give a shit about what "HE feels like." You really have to understand how a regular, ordinary, normal, non-advertising person approaches an ad. They don't dissect an ad like we do day in and day out...

Guest's picture
Guest

I think a clever and concise tagline could help a lot, and I don't think it would compromise the integrity of the ad at all.

TRICKY's picture
TRICKY
3935 pencils

my interpretation of this print is that everybody went to buy a book ...so i do agree with "Jety" this print is soooo open to many interpretation that you might skip the right one

The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time

Guest's picture
Guest

If 'escape' / 'immerse yourself' were used, they'd be repeating what the visual is already saying.

sold's picture
sold
3219 pencils

maybe a simple tagline like 'just for you' or ...'well together'?
this ads need a copy...

Guest's picture
Guest

As I said, if you don't know the brand, the ad is meaningless. If you don't "get it", the ad is meaningless. If you get it but think "that's stupid, some books suck", the ad is meaningless. There are too many ways for this ad to fail and not enough ways for it to succeed. A failure in my book (pun intended).

Guest's picture
Guest

good intentions, but feels like it's missing something.

Guest's picture
Guest

This ad is made for peers in the industry. Not for the consumer.

Guest's picture
Guest

Love it ! So simple.

Guest's picture
Guest

don´t like it, the concept is too basic, almost first thought.

adhythya's picture
adhythya
8 pencils

ehm... same xcution.
same feeling.

i love it.

ehm...

Guest's picture
Guest

concept too basic ?

dun think so. i think the simplicity is what makes it work so well.

it's a great insight.

Guest's picture
Guest

TERRIBLE AD

www.immb.info

A.G. Pennypacker's picture
A.G. Pennypacker
607 pencils

I think these are smart. But I initially got a totally different meaning. At first I thought they were saying the streets are empty because everyone is off reading books. But that approach would have made more sense if there wasn't anyone at all in the ad reading a book. But after reading the comments I got the escapism angle. I don't think you need someone reading a book in the middle of a bank robbery to get the message across. The target is book readers. And this subtle approach is more appropriate since they're widely considered a more intellectual crowd.

agwbl's picture
agwbl
299 pencils

I don't get it. You're saying that you think this is a good ad but you, yourself, didn't get it until you had read everyone elses comments. This makes no sense to me. I think this ad requires far too much effort on the consumers part when at first glance it is just a nice stock photo of Hong Kong. I doubt that anyone other than ad people on sites like this will look any farther than that. If so, FAIL.

A.G. Pennypacker's picture
A.G. Pennypacker
607 pencils

agwbl,
I don't think I contradicted myself. I admitted that I didn't get the ads right off. Typically I won't read comments until I "get" the ad. But as I said above, I THOUGHT I had got the real meaning. It was only after reading the comments did I realize I didn't get the creators true intent. After which I liked them even more.

All I'm saying is, not being an avid book reader - I'm not the intended target so I don't think it's weird that I didn't quite get it. So maybe in this case it's not the ads fault - it's mine because I don't read a lot of books. I believe these ads communicate a subtle (yet strong) message that is not intended for everyone. But I do think the intended target will get these because they experience on a regular basis, the feeling that is being conveyed here. For me the deeper problem is that I'm not so sure this is enough to differentiate Penguin from any other publisher of books. Don't they all claim or imply their books are "gripping?"

Guest's picture
Guest

It's going to work well in HK because it's impossible to see no people in the street like that. Almost too obvious. Who cares if it's the first idea or 100th idea if it's good enough.

fotdot's picture
fotdot
673 pencils

Not great. Sorry. Not great at all. Pretty pathetic really. Photography is about the only thing nice here. Sorry again. Please no more scams.

Guest's picture
Guest

Why the hell would you go out to town if you want to escape the crowd? Stay at home. I've never seen anyone reading on a busy street, bridge or in front of shops & pubs. Come on, get a life.
The proposition of escape is done countless times.
These ads puts me to sleep just like what a bad book does. It will never win any awards.

Guest's picture
Guest

Why the hell would you go out to town if you want to escape the crowd? Stay at home. I've never seen anyone reading on a busy street, bridge or in front of shops & pubs. Come on, get a life.
The proposition of escape is done countless times.
These ads puts me to sleep just like what a bad book does. It will never win any awards.

Guest's picture
Guest

Why the hell would you go out to town if you want to escape the crowd? Stay at home. I've never seen anyone reading on a busy street, bridge or in front of shops & pubs. Come on, get a life.
The proposition of escape is done countless times.
These ads puts me to sleep just like what a bad book does. It will never win any awards.

Guest's picture
Guest

Ruth, why do you give up advertising. You are pathetic. Heard you are looking for a job.

Jet Propulsion Lab's picture
Jet Propulsion Lab
10683 pencils

That was an uncalled-for comment, you know it.

Whitefang's picture
Whitefang
509 pencils

this is weak. I took a while to get it and when I did there is no reward. much better campaign done for penguin by some agency in singapore. the line is 'escape into a book' and just has books sitting open on seats in crowded public areas.
same thought - much better excecution. picked up at cannes.

Guest's picture
Guest

Yes, that Singapore ad was super clear and effective.
This is an epic failure..

Next!

Guest's picture
Guest

This ad would work beautifully in Hong Kong, especially since they used some of the busier sections in the city.

It may not mean much to non-locals, but locals will definitely be curious to find out why their familiar streets are empty. You could have lived in Hong Kong for decades and have never seen such a scene.

As for wanting to be alone and standing in a cafe, that person could simply be waiting for a friend or some mode of transport. If a book is really good it will absorb you, busy street or not.

The whole idea is clear enough, and evokes the kind of emotion you want the target audience (primarily book lovers) to have.

Guest's picture
Guest

And of course, the Logo is so popular dat you dont have to explain what the brand is. Too many assumptions here. I completely agree with the guy whose comment features on top.

Guest's picture
Guest

I completely agree with Jet Propulsion Lab

Guest's picture
Guest

I believe "Jet Propulsion Lab" should read more often instead of stressing others' language mistakes. For one thing, you would have understood this ad right away, and secondly it would make you seem like such a jerk.

Guest's picture
Guest

I believe "Jet Propulsion Lab" should read more often instead of stressing others' language mistakes. For one thing, you would have understood this ad right away, and secondly it wouldn't make you seem like such a jerk.
I do agree a tagline would not compromise the intergrity of this ad though.

Guest's picture
Guest

A tag line will ruin it all!!! So what if some people have a different understanding about this piece. It doesn't make it a bad ad just because some people who think the benchmark of a great ad is for them to understand it can't have a grip on it, ppffffff what a loser!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

Reading a penguin book helps clear up traffic.

Every few years an ad comes around that communicates everything with a nice, simple visual. This isn't one of those ads.

Guest's picture
Guest

I like reading books, just short of a bookworm.. I did get the ad without any tag line.. PURPOSE SOLVED!!

ruSh.Me's picture
ruSh.Me
109 pencils

I like reading books, just short of a bookworm.. I did get the ad without any tag line.. PURPOSE SOLVED!!

Guest's picture
Guest

I love this ad.

You jealous bitches are just trying to stop them from winning an award.

Grow up. It's amazing. The photography must have taken forever.

Guest's picture
Guest

maybe we don't get it because it's not meant for residents outside hongkong. for people in hongkong, they'd easily recognize the place in the images and would be hooked into the ad.

i wonder when they shot these pictures?

feyzuk's picture
feyzuk
10 pencils

I think the problem here is we see no clue that it's gotta be the rush hour... this may be any street in Hong Kong or New York, but also the reason it's so quiet and still may be that it's very early hour in the morning.
The insight is quite good and has great potential that it may have many other creative approaches to convey that exquisite state of mind. Congratulations for your efforts. It's just that as a good reader, I expected more...
And also I expect the admen to be less hostile and comment on the work itself instead of personal attacks...

Post new comment

Thank you for commenting. Please do not spam, be elaborate, respectful and helpful.
Log in or register to post comments