Samsung #DoWhatYouCant, Nike #StartTraining and more: creative ideas of the week

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Another week comes to an end with a fresh set of advertising messages aimed at us. We see some of them in print, outdoor, TV or digital media while we come to know of some (especially the global ones) through trade media and blogs. There was #TouchOfCare from Vicks last week and a few others which caught my eye.

1. Samsung: the ostrich

Samsung has often created advertising focused on its product features. This has been true of most mobile phone brands as they provide a laundry list of features like RAM, storage etc. Of late this has changed to focusing on a couple of flagship features – quite often the camera for the quality of photos or selfies. Samsung has also taken a competitive stance against Apple, specifically the iPhone in the past. In my view those ads were likely to make the anti-Apple brigade feel happy about their choice rather than get the pro-Apple community to switch loyalty (and remember it is not just a switch of hardware brand but of OS as well). Of course the marketing has paid dividends as Samsung has forced everyone to equate the brand with iPhone even though there are thousands of Android phone brands. However, in my view, this obsession with Apple drives Samsung to focus on ‘getting it first’ rather then ‘getting it right’ – as was evident with the smart watch launch. This inward focus and a rush to outsmart Apple at any cost has its pitfalls as was evident last year with a series of product issues, negative PR and losses.

In this context, comes a theme film for Samsung timed with the launch of S8. It is a nice film which brings a smile and is meant to convey a philosophy or attitude of Samsung. The ‘protagonist’ (if you can call it that) is apt to convey the #DoWhatYouCant claim. A lot of brands feel the need for such ‘corporate’ or thematic messaging: Apple’s ‘Think Different’ or the recent ‘Designed by Apple in California‘ come to mind. In the wake of recent negative publicity about its products, will it win over the naysayers among Android users? 

Smartphones have perhaps reached the height of product innovation. As TechCrunch said, ‘Your next smartphone is not going to be a revolution‘ and hence every launch is about a few enhancements and better product experience. Samsung has another problem to contend with (aside from iPhone) – lesser priced but equally ‘attractive’ offerings in the Android world in the form of Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo et al. Hence, this film is geared to score high on the feel good quotient (building affinity towards the brand) rather than focusing on any product features.

Agency: Leo Burnett

2. Nike: #StopExercisingStartTraining

It may seem like just semantics but what a difference it makes in perspective. I thought the deep meaning sought to be conveyed in ‘exercise’ vs ‘training’ drove home very strongly with just that hashtag. Nicely done. See more here.

“Gone are days of endless exercise. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting results. Training takes mindless repetition and turns it into progress by knowing what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”

Agency: AnalogFolk

3. Maresia Surfwear

A lot of travel brands have done this juxtaposition of work life with leisure and seems to work every time. These two ads from a 4-ad campaign were standouts for me. 

Agency: Delantero Comunicação, Brazil

Update: came across this campaign for British Airways over at Newsworks and adding it to the list.

4. British Airways: Costa Rica

It is common for airline brands to create tactical ads announcing the launch of new routes. Many of them are staid, bland announcements. The clever ones find something unique about the destination and anchor it in the creative idea. Like this one from British Airways which capitalises on Costa Rica being No.1 in the Happy Planet Index rankings.

Which ones worked for you? Do comment in.

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