Emirates NBD, SAP and more: 10 top creative ads of the week

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Almost 90% of ads are ignored. That’s a fate worse than ads being disliked – in which case, at least they were noticed. Mediocre, run-of-the-mill ads are the ‘normal’ in advertising, resulting in a colossal waste of effort and money. Among the hundreds of commercial messages we see every day (in various formats – print ads, TV spots, outdoor, Instagram posts, tweets) only a handful are noticed and an even smaller number, remembered. Every week, I attempt to share such. Here are a bunch of recent creative ads which caught my eye.

Emirates NBD: ‘Wasn’t Me’

Online bank fraud and identity theft is a serious subject. Advertising by brands in the banking & finance domain has largely taken an educative stance or inducing fear. In a different, yet effective approach, Emirates NBD in association with Dubai Police has released a video highlighting the need for online safety. The film takes a sing-song approach (with a Shaggy-esque touch) to outline the do’s & don’ts of keeping one’s banking information safe.

Agency: Leo Burnett

Is humour or being light-hearted a sound approach for a serious subject? I think it’s all relative. Use of humour may not be appropriate in creating awareness or changing behaviour when it comes to life threatening subjects (like say, drunk driving) or heinous crimes. In this case, a self-deprecating nature and being sheepish about mistakes made in online banking is both entertaining and effective.

SAP: feelings

B2B advertising is usually considered to be ‘boring’. But truth be told, there is no such thing as a boring category in advertising. Most B2B brands need to influence decision makers & influencers in enterprises and hence the everyday consumer is not their target audience. A few large B2B brands see the need to create affinity among the general public too, positioning the brand as one which plays a behind-the-scenes role in our everyday lives. In a new spot, SAP continues to use Clive Owen in a montage of visuals to dramatise how our everyday experiences can be better, thanks to the brand’s ‘Experience Management‘ practice.

Agency: BBDO

Apple AirPod: Bounce

There is not much for rationality when it comes to love for Apple products. The entire ‘packaging’ – the product experience, the store, displays, packaging, communication relies heavily on triggering the emotional brain. The rationale (ironically) is clear: ‘the rational brain is only good at rationalising what the emotional brain has already decided‘. A new spot promoting AirPods has some breathtaking visuals to dramatise ‘wireless freedom’.

Agency: TBWA

Apparently, the ad was filmed without the use of wires or harness.

In fact, almost all of the gravity-defying movement in the spot was made using practical effects, not CGI in post.

When the actor, a protégé of high-flying choreographer and acrobat Yoann Bourgeois, bounces off a grate in the film, he is actually bouncing off a grate made of trampoline material.


P&G: The Look

In an effort to create a debate around racial bias, P&G has created the ‘Talk About Bias‘ initiative which highlights the experiences of black people face due to racial bias in everyday life. The site juxtaposes actual incidents of bias in many spheres – shopping, education, dining and more. A film captures them all in a poignant manner.

Mitsubishi: Don’t Story and Drive

We’ve moved beyond ‘Don’t text and drive’ now. Since short-lived ‘stories’ are common across platforms like Instagram and Facebook this campaign highlights road safety with ‘don’t story and drive’. Can you spot the danger on the road?

Agency: Promoplan, Chile

Nike: Mount Olympus

Here is a creative idea not led by a TVC or a print ad but just an act. Giannis Antetokounmpo is named an MVP at the NBA this year. To celebrate the occasion, Nike put up a basketball hoop on the top of Mount Olympus, the highest point in Greece – his native country. Loved the symbolism.

BMW: traffic rules

Unsafe lane changes play a big role in traffic accidents. To dramatize this point, BMW created this ad in Turkey. Simple, drives home the point (no pun intended).

Agency: AAI

TESCO: Finest Fish

I am not sure if the work is new, but it is certainly fresh. Selected in the Design – Packaging category in The Annual 2019, by Creative Review, the packaging for Tesco Finest is simply beautiful and likely to stand out in a supermarket shelf. Loved it.


City of Oslo: new identity

This project, released back in April, was featured in FastCompany as one which saved the city of Oslo $5 million a year.

The municipality operates many types of services and communicates with many different target groups. There are over 250 municipal logos in use. Therefore, it is unclear to many residents what the municipality does. 

Agency: Creuna

Loved the flexibility and modular solution to the problem of ‘one identity’.

DS Automobile: French masterpiece

I love it when an idea can be conveyed with minimal copy and art direction that enhances the message.

Agency: Epic Advertising, Egypt

Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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