#SpareTheAct, @UrbanLadder, Dove emojis and more: creative ideas of the week

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Between bookmarked sites, Twitter and RSS feeds which showcase advertising, I come across many new creative ideas every week. As with advertising in real life, only a handful are memorable. Here are my picks for the week ending 6th November 2015.

Currys PC World

Every Christmas, big brand UK retail chains fight it out for the consumer’s share of attention, involvement in media and eventually for share of wallet. The John Lewis advert is usually the most looked forward to and has consistently set a benchmark in online buzz generation over the years. This year too, their #ManOnTheMoon has caught the imagination of many across the globe and is on its way to be a massive hit. In this context, creating noticeable advertising for Christmas shopping is a big challenge for UK retail brands. A new campaign for Currys PC World is based on a song insight:

We all know that Christmas doesn’t always live up to our expectations. If weeks of Christmas songs and tinsel have built your anticipation to a level that nothing can match, don’t be a Grinch and ruin everyone’s day if you get pyjamas again or Auntie Jo overcooks the turkey.

And so the proposition: sometimes we need to act to maintain the Christmas spirit. The proposition comes to life with Jeff Goldblum as the actor who shows us how.

Agency: AMV BBDO

Loved the outtakes of how Jeff Goldblum prepares for the shots. The campaign is a departure from the sugary sweet, tearjerker ads (similar to the Harvey Nichols #SpentItOnMyself ads of 2013) and since it is based on a strong universal insight, it strikes a chord.

#LoveYourCurls: Dove emoji

While other brands have created their own Emojis too (IKEA has their emoticons), I liked this one because it is rooted in consumer behaviour and a communication theme from the brand. Last year, #LoveYourCurls video was created by Dove dramatising typical behaviour from girls who have curly hair; their Quench variant was associated with that initiative. Use of Emojis is common across digital communication these days and all the characters there have straight hair. The Dove Love Your Curls Emoji Keyboard has characters with curly hair to highlight this look. Obviously it is unlikely to remove any angst in curly haired women about their looks overnight but it a subtle way to get them to remember the brand’s proposition.

Dove emoji keyboard

Urban Ladder – The Homecoming

Long-format films meant for release on YouTube, often labelled ‘branded content’ is all the rage today. My view with such is that while the primary aim is entertainment, there has to be a link back to the brand in some manner (subtly of course) for it to be effective. The story has to have some relevance to the brand – though the film may garner millions of views (as was the case with OYO Rooms, in my opinion). A new film for Urban Ladder ticks all the boxes.

Agency: Boring Brands

A minor grouse: can ad agencies please stop giving that horrible wig to the wonderful Piyush Mishra?:)

Zulu Alpha Kilo: #saynotospec

Pitching – in other words, presenting speculative campaigns for free, is a common phenomenon in advertising.Clients invite agencies to pitch for their business and agencies line up to share ideas for free in the hope of getting the business. The process has gone on in the industry for decades; ad agencies complain about it privately but have done nothing to put a stop to it. Zulu Alpha Kilo has created a hilarious video featuring real people being asked to do spec work (loved the chef).

The agency has also outlined the negatives of spec work on a special page. Despite such initiatives, I feel the ad industry will continue to participate in speculative pitches and continue to debase themselves. Reason: there is no unity in the industry. More on this perhaps in a separate blog post. My previous rants on pitches here and here.

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