Play-Doh’s handmade campaign, Old Spice S.Q.U.I.D and more: creative ideas of the week

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There are hundreds of commercial messages vying for consumer attention everyday across traditional and new media. Only a handful are noticed. Here are a few creative ideas which caught my eye, the week ending 19th May, 2017: Play-Doh’s handcrafted print ads, Old Spice’s pre-launch activity for Krakengärd and more.

1. Play-Doh: handcrafted print ads

Advertising is a profession which brings diverse talents together o address a business problem or opportunity. Brand strategists, creative craftsmen (and women), media specialists and many more put their heads together to address a brand’s marketing challenge. Such a collaboration is evident in this 60th anniversary campaign for Play-Doh. The print campaign delivers a message to both parents and children. The execution – handcrafted messages using actual Play-Doh, brings alive the effort, love and care that went into the idea. The ads apparently took 948 pots of clay and were first sketched and colored over thousands of iterations.

Agency: DDB Paris

2. Old Spice: Krakengärd pre-launch activity

Back when the ‘smell like a man, man’ campaign was launched,the technology of the day was central to the execution of some parts of the campaign. Remember the clever use of video in the form of responses to tweets? That was seven years ago. Now the brand has created a robot which is a sea beast. The link? It is a game to launch Krakengärd its latest scent. The game called S.Q.U.I.D (Shared Quests Uniting Individual Dudes) asks people to ‘control (‘one of the eight robotic arms as they work in unison with the other seven players to guide S.Q.U.I.D.’) the beast using the Internet. The action is on Twitch this weekend.

Agency: W+K

3. Shazam – Alzheimer’s

In the 90s and 2000s we had clever use of space in print advertising. This is clever use of a popular online platform, Shazam. The objective was to educate a younger audience in the UK about Alzheimer’s disease. The route: the Shazam app simulated Alzheimer’s effects by ‘foregetting’ to identify songs and then prompting users to donate to the charity. Loved it.

Agency: Innocean Worldwide

4. Barclays – self skipping ads

To drive home the message that Barclays has dedicated relationship managers to corporate clients, the brand created a pre-roll message. The fun part: it skips itself. But taking this route it increases the chances of the ad actually being watched. Nicely done. More about it here.

Agency: The Martin Agency

5. GE Appliances: good things for life

‘We bring good things to life’ was an iconic tag line for GE and it ran for decades. It captured the diverse industries the company operated in. After divesting many of its businesses, GE crafted the ‘Imagination at Work’ tagline. Recently, GE Appliances was bought by Haier. The brand has created a campaign with a tag line pretty close to the earlier one. I also liked the fact that these are product focused ads which dramatise the technology and suggest ‘use cases’ in a fun way.

Agency: BBDO

6. Apple: iPhone 7 Plus, How to shoot on iPhone 7 and accessibility-focused videos

I have liked the advertising of Apple – be it in print, web or video primarily because they focus on the product. They usually highlight one feature of the product and demonstrate how it can be used, usually in an un-boring way. There of their campaigns caught my eye this week:

iPhone Plus: portrait feature

A fun spot on how the portrait feature can be put to use.

How to shoot on iPhone 7

‘Shot on iPhone’ is a clever way to dramatise the camera features of the iPhone without talking about specifications (which is what the Android world usually focuses on) – the proof, pudding and all that. The campaign has been taken forward with series of ‘How to’ videos – educating consumers on making the best of iPhone 7’s camera features. Someone mentioned on social media that from ‘it just works’ is it a fall to have ‘How to videos’. I think not. These videos are not about how to use the phone’s features (which may run contrary to ‘it just works’) but how to make the user get better at photography. To that extent it is a leadership stance and strengthens the ‘great camera’ perception.

‘Designed for’ ads on accessibility features

Tim Cook called accessibility a core value of Apple. In honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple released a series of personal stories which showcase how the accessibility features are ‘designed for’ an individual. I particularly loved this one. Rest of the ads are here.

Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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