Classic ad campaigns for Alka Seltzer and Avis get the Google “Project Re: Brief” treatment as they are re-imagined for the digital age.
Earlier this year we featured Google’s “Project Re: Brief”, an experiment that re-imagined iconic ads for the modern web with the goal to change minds on Madison Avenue about new technologies in general, and Google products and services in particular.
We saw Coca Cola’s “Hilltop” (1971) and Volvo’s “Drive it like you hate it” (1962) campaigns given a digital makeover and re-pitched. Now we take a look at Avis’ “We try harder” and Alka Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” which also got the treatment.
Howie Cohen, Copywriter and Bob Pasqualina, Art Director created one of the most memorable campaigns in advertising history. When “I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing” by Wells, Rich, Greene hit America’s screens in 1972, it wasn’t long before their phrase was being repeated around the country.
Decades later it still remains a part of popular culture, being referenced in shows like the Simpsons. Howie and Bob were reunited after 32 years to work with Google to give their iconic character ‘Ralph’ a whole new level of relevance and re-connect with brand to the famous phrase.
The re-imagined work tells the story of “The Day Ralph Ate the Whole Thing”, leading up to the iconic moment captured in the original ad. Setup as an interactive 1970’s sitcom on your smartphone, a series of short episodes follows Ralph’s day over breakfast, lunch and dinner, shown through interactive display and mobile ads.
Each ad impression is personalised for the viewer based on their location, interests, time of day and other factors, such as what you were just watching on YouTube. Every episode also provides users a unique way to interact with Ralph.
For Avis, the re-imagined ads invite customers to write about their rental experiences with Avis, and turn each letter into a personal animated video which they can share on the web. These videos are dynamically created within a few seconds, right in the ad itself. There is no stronger testament to Avis trying harder, than real stories from real customers who’ve experienced the service for themselves.
Google teamed up with copywriter Paula Green, who in 1962, along with art director Helmut Krone, created Avis’ “We Try Harder” campaign (under the creative direction of Bill Bernbach at DDB) – the slogan of which is still used by the rent-a-car brand today.
Google has made the project into a documentary, directed by Doug Pray, in collaboration with creative agency Johannes Leonardo and digital agency Grow.
Video: Project Re: Brief Alka Seltzer Mobile Demo.
Video: Bob Pasqualina and Howie Cohen re-imagine Alka-Seltzer's "I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing" campaign.
Video: Avis tablet ad demo by Google's Project Re: Brief.
Video: Paula Green re-imagines Avis' "We try harder" campaign.
See the Coca-Cola "Hilltop" and Volvo “Drive it like you hate it” campaigns re-imagined here.
Keywords: Google, digital, Project Re: Brief, Avis, Alka-Seltzer, Ralph, DDB, Bill Bernbach, Paula Green, Helmut Krone, Howie Cohen, Bob Pasqualina, classic, retro, campaigns