9 top creative ads of the week: Macy’s, Spotify, M&M’s and more

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Every day we come across hundreds of commercial messages. Only a handful are memorable. Here are a few creative ads which caught my eye, the week ending 1st December, 2017.

Macy’s: The Perfect Gift

Getting into the consideration set for Christmas shopping is the focus of virtually all retailers and several categories (gadgets, for example) which are suited for gifting. It is no wonder that many Christmas ads are anchored around the ‘gift’. It is fascinating to see brands manage to feature their brand in a ‘sea of sameness’ as every brand competes to say why it is better than its competition for Christmas shopping. In this context, a set of new ads from Macy’s are compelling as they tell a story with a slight twist in the tale. Each one tells why a seemingly inappropriate gift (a man’s scent for a woman, for example) is the ‘perfect gift’.

Spotify outdoor: 2018 goals

Last year Spotify created a lot of buzz with a series of outdoor ads, focused on the unique playlists their users create. This year they have followed it up with a theme focused again on playlists but presented as ‘goals for 2018’ just in time for the new year. To me this campaign subliminally conveys that a few things: (a) to the end user it positions itself as a brand high on personalisation which is very important in music (b) to the advertiser it subtly conveys the message that the brand has in-depth data of its consumers which is relevant in advertising (c) it also adds a cool quotient to the brand as it now competes with big players like Apple Music.

Agency: in-house

DNB Bank: the big weep

Some products and features make sense only in a country (like the Nokia feature phone which came with a flashlight, years ago or the new LG ‘mosquito repellant’ phone). Here’s a product from DNB Bank in Norway, which promotes its guidebook on how to handle the travails of ‘moving out of the nest – both the child and the parents. The funny take on it makes it memorable.

Agency: TRY, Norway

Uber Canada: Motherhood

Ad campaigns aimed at creating awareness about drunk driving and hoping to change behaviour have to strike deep at our emotions. In countries like India, the bland ‘Don’t drink and drive’ banners are just taken for granted or go un-noticed, while hoardings with severe word play only bring a smile. Irrational habits like smoking too need an emotional pitch in order to be effective. In Australia, TAC’s ‘If you drink and then drive you are a bloody idiot’ set the tone for hard hitting advertising which shakes the user to the core and puts the fear of death in their hearts. A recent ad for Uber in Canada is not as brutal compared TAC’s ads but drive the point home (no pun intended) nevertheless.

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo

M&M’s: A very yellow Christmas

In 1996, M&M’s created an ad for Christmas which went on to become very popular. After 21 years, they have created a sequel in which the yellow M&M accidentally shows the real meaning of Christmas.

Agency: CLM BBDO

Paypal: fear of the wrong gift

A new ad from Paypal is based on a universal insight: there is nervousness, even fear when choosing a gift for someone else. Even when one thinks one knows someone else’s tastes ver well, it could go horribly wrong. And in the context of everyone sharing their Christmas gifts openly around a table or in the living room, that fear is heightened. While this ad dramatises the insight very well, there is a sense of occasion involved in gifting big boxes wrapped in gifting paper which a service like Paypal may lack.

Agency: Buzzman

Samsung: giving is a gift to be shared

Here is another ad centred around gifting and Christmas. It tells a sweet story of a concierge in what looks like an up-market apartment complex in the UK. He helps out its diverse residents in setting up their celebrations. In return, he gets gifted guessed it, the advertised product. One could argue that the denouement could apply for any other brand (and not just for Samsung) but it is a nice film, nevertheless.

Agency: adam&eveDDB

Scrabble: There's magic in family

"There's magic in words" has been a long standing theme of Scrabble. In this stirring ad the idea is taken forward by showcasing diverse families - each with its own unique context. A family of cats, a single parent, mixed race families and more are beautifully woven together with a strong connect to the product. Truly, there is magic in words.

Agency: Lola Mullen Lowe

Visit Finland: Symphony of Extremes

Every country competes for the tourism dollar. There are compelling options for travellers and marketing of a destination plays a critical role in creating a consideration set for holidaying. In this context, Symphony of Extremes is an interesting campaign anchored on a 'product feature' unique to the country: 'The Finnish people’s DNA is the most diverse in all of Europe. Extremes are literally in our blood'. In order to celebrate 100 years of independence this year, they extracted people’s DNA from the extreme points of the country. The Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica then turned the genetic data into an original piece of music. Read more about the campaign here.

Agency: SEK Helsinki

Which one was your favourite? Comment in. 

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