10 top creative ads of the week: @mumbaimirror, #TheBigBillionDays, @sandyhook and more

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I have been blogging for over 10 years now. Some of the posts have been about my views on trends in the the world of advertising & marketing. Over the last few years I have tried to post a compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads every week. Here’s a collection of ads which caught my eye the week ending September 20, 219:

Mumbai Mirror: Power of Print

Last week, the city newspaper Mumbai Mirror carried full page adverts in the front page of what appeared to be mirror images of iconic landmarks of the city.

The ads are a part of a campaign highlighting the transformation of the city over the years and includes recollections of the city through the eyes of five famous citizens.

Agency: Wunderman Thompson

Why do I like it? I feel it is an unconventional, non-ad like way to strengthen the bond Mumbaikars have with their city. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion and can trigger pride. In the past, the brand has taken an activist stance in their campaigns. There is a change in the tone of voice in this campaign which is more celebratory in nature and evokes a lot more ‘feel good factor’ about the city among its residents.

Flipkart: Big Billion Days

With big bang sales becoming regular affairs during festival shopping seasons with e-commerce brands every year, the core message of ‘great offers & savings’ won’t change. Execution matters a lot in such announcer ads and this Flipkart has delivered an entertaining campaign. Sure, it takes the tried & tested route of celebrities but the ads are entertaining because of the way the celebrities are used. Cast as characters aided with some fun lines, cricketers Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni give stellar performances – a departure from the wooden, action head type scripts they get usually.

Aside from the thematic ads, there are some short versions highlighting deals on specific products and linking them to the characters.

Agency: Mullen LoweLintas

Sandy Hook Promise: Back to School

Sometimes, advertising which leaves you feeling disturbed can be a good thing. In 2016, ‘prevent gun violence before it starts‘ was the theme for the Sandy Hook Promise. This year, they have released a new ad with could pass of easily as another shopping or e-commerce related ‘Back to School’ film. But when the story takes a twist, it could leave the reader feeling sorry about the world we have created for our children. Disturbing, moving, powerful.

Agency: BBDO

The Economist: subscription orders

This creative was released last week in the UK and refers to UK speaker John Bercow’s signature, theatrical shouts of ‘order!’ in the parliament. A clever way to link it as a reminder to subscribe to The Economist, which is of course known for its classic ads positioning it as a must-read for grey cells.

Agency: Proximity, London

Times of India: Phirey Esho Kolkata

Come Durga Puja season, you will see many brands create the iconic ‘multiple hands’ visual the goddess associated with the festival. However, this one brought a smile for the creative setting and the smart thinking behind it. Many who’ve grown up in Kolkata are now either working or settled in other cities of India. All of them are likely to warm, positive memories of the city and still have family back home.

The Pujo season is when Kolkata is known to be at its best and many yearn to visit home during that time. I assume Times of India is still a challenger English newspaper brand in the city and it makes sense for them to be an enabler for such emotional home coming. The use of local language and the sentiment behind the ads is sure to appeal to the ‘Probashi‘ [literally, a “Bengali living outside Bengal].

Agency: Wunderman Thompson

Spotify: listen like you used to

Crafting a focused strategy and getting it right makes like easy for creatives. Here’s a set of outdoor ads for Spotify in the UK targeting an audience of listeners who grew up between 1979 and 1999. The creatives cleverly use band names, song titles and such like from the music back then. Aside from simply referring to popular names or common behaviour back then, they also capture the state of mind of those in their 40s now.

Agency: Who Wot Why

McDonald’s: open late

Visuals that communicate the key message without the aid of any copy are hard to come by in advertising. These set of ads do a great job of conveying ‘open late’ for McDonald’s.

See more here. Agency: TBWA, Paris.

No Name Brands: generic ads

No Name is a Canadian business delivering no-frills products at great prices. ‘Great products without paying top dollar‘ is their value proposition. Their communication – be it a film, outdoor or even a tweet truly reflects this ‘minimal’ approach and makes the brands endearing. Great work.

Billboards and other signage take this idea forward.

Even their Twitter replies are thought through to bring alive the proposition and the brand personality. On Twitter they even offer simple phone screens with just the user’s name.

Agency: John St. See more at AdTeachings.

Wakefit mattress: counting sheep

Mattress brands have long talked about the need for a good night’s sleep to perform better the next day. A new campaign for Wakefit mattresses has a clutter breaking visual device inspired by the oft-heard advice of counting sheep to fall asleep. I also liked the transition into the mnemonic, the not-so-serious voice over style and the ‘Hinglish’ conversations.

Agency: Spring Marketing Capital

NZ Lotto: case study film

Here’s a mind-blowing advertising case study from New Zealand. I think it represents the best of strategy, creativity and media media coming together to create entertainment that is contemporary.

On 21 June Lotto NZ released its latest Powerball commercial, ‘Lost,’ via DDB New Zealand, which quickly became New Zealand’s favourite ad on air, according to viewer-led research by Think TV and TRA. But a month after the release of ‘Lost’, Lotto NZ revealed that the ad was much more than a commercial – it was actually a ticket. Hidden throughout the commercial were Lotto numbers and viewers were challenged to find seven of them for their chance at a grand prize of $10,000 and 10 runner-up prizes of $1,000. Lotto NZ created an interactive website to turn the search for the hidden numbers into a game and drip-fed clues to players on social media and even the live Lotto draw aired on ONE.


Agency: DDB. Watch the original film here.

Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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