9 top creative ads of the week: Volkswagen, HSBC and more

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Every day we come across hundreds of commercial messages. Only a handful are memorable. Here are the top creative ads which caught my eye, the week ending 5th January, 2018.

1. Volkswagen kids dreams

It is always a pleasure to watch an which is not only riveting from the first frame but delivers an unexpected twist in the tale, a sucker punch as it were to drive home a point. The magic happens when after the unexpected twist, the brand message is woven in seamlessly. Also such ads score on memorability and likeability quotient as viewers connect the dots or ‘fill in the blank‘ in their heads (without the advertiser spelling it out). A new ad for Volkswagen highlighting one of its safety features is one such brilliant ad. The premise: ‘many children dream of cars. Not every one dreams of a Volkswagen. Fortunately we think of them all when building a Volkswagen.’

Agency: Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg


Sometimes a simple idea (which has been done before) can be lifted by some smart writing. A new ad for HSBC in the UK puts forth the idea that we live in a global world’ (remember ‘We live in Financial Times‘?). ‘We start the day with a Colombian, Guatemalan or a piping hot Costa Rican’ alluding to coffee and ‘our heroes are Brazilian’ alluding to football stars the ad refers all the global influences. The link to the service, in this case the bank is by association.

Agency: JWT, London

3. RangeRover stunt

Over the last few years, ‘activation’ has become a part of the marketing mix. It could mean a promotional activity in a mall or a stunt. In the case of the latter, the modus operandi is to stage something unexpected in a public place and have the reactions of the general public captured on camera. Very often, they are ‘staged’ in the sense that the main protagonists and onlookers seem like actors hamming their way through their reactions. However, when the public is genuinely surprised or appreciates what they see, it shows…the video feels so much more genuine.

Agency: Spark44

4. IHOP pancakes

In this quirky bit of writing for IHOP, a restaurant brand known for pancakes, the objective seems to be simply drive home that specialty. And it works.

Agency: Droga5

5. Bulk Powders: Dominate Life

Here’s another example of great strategy and creative coming together. Bulk Powders, a fitness brand has positioned itself as an aid to ‘dominate life’. The claim is likely to ring true for both users of such products and those who are potentials. The creative takes it forward in an unusual setting: a used car salesman trying to outsmart a buyer. The writing is top class and so are the acting and production values.

Agency: Droga5, London

6. OkCupid: DTF

I had to look up what DTF means (sorry, I am not the demographic). And once I figured that out, I could see the brilliance of this campaign. It is a fresh perspective in this category to convey that dating can be about more than dating. See more about the campaign here.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York

7. Tinder: Invention of Together

Heere’s another campaign from the same category as OkCupid, but with a different perspective. The animated film outlines the ‘history’ of dating and while other modes of dating built barriers, Tinder breaks them.

Agency: Buck

8. HSE: I will survive

Smoking is an irrational habit. Smokers know that it is harmful but continue to smoke. Many find it difficult to give despite good intentions. Anti-smoking advertising has tried various strategies – being rational, scaring the daylights out of a smoker by dramatizing the ill-effects – being clever while doing so. I loved this approach from Ireland, which strokes the smoker positively by applauding the will power of those who have quit the habit. The ad was made in April 2017.

Agency: BBDO

9. Axis Mutual fund #KhushiKeAansu

Finally, a web-only film from India which is both entertaining and gets the message across. This film for a mutual fund talks about the generic benefits of a certain kind of fund but works well for the brand too asit makes for a memorable ad.

Agency: Womb

Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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