5 top creative ads of the week: Alibaba’s ‘The power of small’, Amazon Alexa 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 2nd February, 2018: Alibaba’s ‘The power of small’, Amazon Alexa and more.

1. Alibaba: The power of small

Established in 1999, China’s Alibaba Group has been in the news in business publications largely over the years. Its founder Jack Ma is seen as an inspirational business leader and the group has invested behind many emerging businesses across the globe. The company’s stated belief is that the ‘Internet would level the playing field by enabling small enterprises to leverage innovation and technology to grow and compete more effectively in the domestic and global economies’. Recently in entered into a 10-year partnership with the Olympics the brand has launched a campaign just ahead of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The ad is anchored on the ‘power of small’  – a tribute to small businesses, the core audience of the group.  The approach is summed up in the campaign home page:

We believe
A small character has unrivaled power
A small corner can impact the whole world
A small country’s story can inspire all humanity
From small to big
Everyone is making a difference
Alibaba, together with the Olympic Games
Gives everyone an equal chance

The theme TVC is a stirring montage of visuals delivering the key message:

Agency: BBDO

Aside from the theme TVC, there are 3 other cutaways focusing on individual stories: a small act of kindness from the 1928 Olympic Games caught my eye:

Aside from the TVCs, a set of print ads dramatise the power of small – I loved the visual device of a giant shadow to dramatise it.

2. Amazon Alexa

The Super Bowl is as much an advertising event as a sporting event. Over the years, the advertising has focused on becoming a talking point before the event, relying on media buzz delivering visibility. There are many tactics employed to create hype about the ad – including a bizarre plot, super duper production values, a star studded cast and so on. The new ad for Alexa scores high on talking point as it not only features Jeff Bezos but a bevy of celebrities. The premise is funny – Alexa has lost her voice and so celebrities fill in for her. 

Agency: Lucky Generals and D1

3. Toyota: good odds

This stirring ad created by Toyota as part of Super Bowl lineup pays a tribute to those who won against the odds. The film follows the journey of Lauren Woolstencroft, who beat the odds to win eight Paralympic gold medals. The visual device of a counter is riveting and complements the key message. It also sits in well with the Mobility for All plank of Toyota. Loved it. 

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi and Dentsu

4. Tourism Australia: Dundee

As tourism marketing ideas go, this one is ingenious. Dundee: The Son Of A Legend Returns Home is pegged as some sort of sequel to Crocodile Dundee which is closely associated with Australia. This is meant to be a Super Bowl campaign and the campaign includes a website and a set of teasers. The one which introduces the cast features famous Australians like Hugh Jackman, and Russel Crowe (a New Zealander by birth) among others. Hilarious stuff and very effective as it is directly linked to travel and the associations with Australia, especially in the US. 

Agency: Droga5

5. Doritos and Mountain Dew

Here’s another Super Bowl ad featuring famous stars and a quirky (if not bizarre) premise. Loved the idea of advertising two brands and highlighting the key feature of those brands. 

Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Update: a lovely spot from MassMutual insurance which I came across after publishing this post.

6. MassMutual: The Unsung

A 30-second spot on Super Bowl reportedly costs $5mn. Despite the high cost, many advertisers feel it is great value for money. MassMutual, an insurance firm founded on the principle of ‘people protecting people’ has created a 2-minute film featuring six stories of communities which came together to help others.

Which one worked for you? Comment in. 

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