Ocasio2018, Delta’s Pilot Talk and more: 11 creative ads of the week

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The advertising & marketing industry trade portals were busy showcasing creative ads from Cannes Lions 2018, over the last two weeks. Despite the prevalence of made-for-award campaigns usually for ‘social good’ the award show is an opportunity to learn about new crafts & techniques and simply be inspired by the power of creative minds. I only wish the show saw more of creative prowess used to solve real business challenges of real brands. Aside from a few winners from Cannes Lions 2018, here are a few others which caught my eye.

1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez : The Courage to Change

Social media is a great platform to discover new ideas and initiatives. Last week I stumbled upon the campaign film for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran for Congress in NYC. The video caught the fancy of Twitterati for its powerful writing (‘people vs money’) and the basic campaign idea, funded by people and not corporates.

Aside from the film itself what caught my fancy was the visual identity of the campaign. According to the agency which designed it, ‘the defining photograph of Ocasio-Cortez, which was photographed by Jesse Korman and supplied by her volunteer team, carried “the same feeling of hope, the upward gaze to the future, to the vision of positive change,” says Arenas. “That gaze, in turn, informed the logo and typography to be set at a forward-leaning angle.” The entire campaign is refreshingly new in the category which like many others has seen a ‘template’.

Agency: Tandem, NYC. Image source.

2. Delta Airlines: Pilot Talk

Over the last couple of years, Delta has used wall art interestingly to promote its brand. In its latest, the brand commissioned Australian designer Karan Singh to create illustratations for each of the letters in the ‘airline lingo’ that’s commonly used by pilots (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc.). The clever part is that it is tied to a social media activity: “people can post the letters one-by-one to an Instagram carousel with #PilotTalkSweepstakes for a chance to win two roundtrip tickets to that destination. So for example, for the chance to win a trip to London, they would need to spell “Lima-Oscar-November-Delta-Oscar-November.” Loved it.

Agency: W+K, New York

The fact that passers by whip up their phones to take pictures is a sign of its clutter breaking ability.

3. IKEA: topical ads for World Cup

Sporting events like the FIFA World Cup offer great opportunities for brands to create tactical communication. The ones which catch attention are the ones which link back to the product category in a relevant manner. A couple of ads for IKEA do just that.

Agency: Åkestam Holst

4. Snickers: apology

One of the most ‘stretched’ ideas of recent times (and I mean it in a good way) must be ‘You are not you when you are hungry’ for Snickers. In its latest stunt, they released a print ad which had the rude, ‘Try New Espresso Snickers, Jerk!” as a headline.

It was then followed by an ‘apology’ which offered hunger as the excuse for creating such an ad, tongue firmly in cheek.

Agency: BBDO

It surely calls for a bold client to approve such an idea. But when the client is bold enough to change the brand name on the pack itself (notice that the packs mentionsymptoms of hunger, like “Irritable” and “Wimpy” instead of Snickers) it shows their confidence in the brand and the power of ‘you are not you when you are hungry’.

5. Rimzim Dinosaur: Atpata Nahi Chatpata

Product categories which are low involvement and with hardly any product feature-benefit story (e.g. candies, carbonated soft drinks) rely heavily on creative execution for memorability. It is a tough ask from both the planning and creative teams as the link to the creative proposition and the brand will most likely be tenuous, flimsy. And when everything depends on the creative execution, it is a chance for marketers to give the, now famous ‘mazaa nahi aaya’ (‘that wasn’t fun’) as response in the form of creative evaluation. A new ad for Rimzim scores high on the bizarre-but-engaging front. Wonder how the very Delhi-sque dialogues and baseline translate into South Indian languages.

Agency: Leo Burnett

Cannes Lions 2018 winners

Over the last year, I have included several of the Cannes Lions winners in my weekly collection: Tide, Kiwi, Apple’s HomePod, McDonald’s “Follow the Arches” to name a few. Here are a few more from the list of winners:

6. Jeep: Go Where They Won’t Go

The off-road capabilities of rugged 4x4s have been dramatised in many ways over the years. Here’s a cheeky one based on typical touristy behaviour (getting that shot of ‘pushing’ the Leaning Tower of Pisa) or the downsides like overcrowding of popular tourist spots.

Agency: FCB

7. Lego: Imagine

The ability of the creative mind to see what many cannot and its relevance to Lego, which is all about imagination, is a great marriage here.

Agency: Ogilvy

8. Harpic: 5 status words

I loved this idea because of the collaboration between the strategy, media and creative teams to craft a solution relevant to the product.

Harpic – Five Status Words from McCann Worldgroup on Vimeo.

Agency: McCann

9. JFK: Unsilenced

While many of the winners in the social good or ‘use of technology’ categories seemed to offer millions of views, ‘impressions’ and media mentions as proof of success or effectiveness, this campaign for The Times caught my attention as (a) it was great use of technology (b) it was linked to the tag line, ‘Find your voice’ of ‘The Times’ and (c) the technique used here has been adopted to help ALS sufferers re-find their voice.

Agency: Accenture Interactive

10. Thermos: Vacuum Insulation Technology

Thailand has consistently produced print work which is meticulously crafted. Here’s one for Thermos which attempts to convey that the brand will give ‘inner warmth’ by keeping beverages warm. Pretty generic claim but gorgeous execution.

Agency: Ogilvy

11. Chevrolet Silverado: Then and Now

Apparently, 2018 is Chevrolet’s 100th year anniversary building and selling trucks in the US. To mark this event they created a campaign which highlights the durability of the trucks. So they re-produced old ads of the brand (from the 70s) exactly as they were with just the product image changed. It might seem like an ‘inside joke’ but it does get the point across very well.

Agency: McCann

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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