Marmite ‘Mind Control’, Smirnoff, BMW and more: 9 creative ads of the week

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Most advertising goes unnoticed. Only a handful manage to break the clutter, get noticed and better still, remembered. Every week, I attempt to share a few compelling ads which caught my eye. This week, the collection of creative ads include TV spots from Marmite, Smirnoff and BMW among others.

Marmite: Mind Control

There have been several iconic campaigns for Marmite over the years – the common thread among them being the focus on its polarising taste. ‘You either love it or hate’ tag lines created in 1996, captured the product reaction well. Over the years, they have dramatised the idea by linking it to our reactions to celebrities, fashion accessories and more. In a clever new campaign, the attempt is to identify UK’s biggest Marmite Hater and they promise to convert such haters into lovers. A new TVC shows how they become converts through ‘mind control‘ videos.

Agency: adam&eveDDB

The campaign website has several elements which bring a smile and make the idea loveable. The question ‘How much do you hate marmite?’ has these options.

Everything is anchored powerfully on both the product and the brand. Moreover, both the brand and campaign idea cannot be mistaken for a competing brand (Vegemite from Australia is among them).

Smirnoff: infamous since 1864

‘Accountancy was my life until I discovered Smirnoff’ was a classic poster for the brand in the 1970s. In the 90s, Tarsem Singh directed the memorable ‘Message in a bottle‘ ads for Lowe Howard-Spink. The brand has always been known for its edgy advertising. Turns out that the brand actually had a wild ‘origin’ story what with how the brand fled Russia amidst a revolution

Agency: 72andSunny, New York

The TVC is accompanied by digital films which showcase recipes and print work with clever word play.

BMW: the small escape

You wan’t story telling and not advertising? Well, here’s one. The Isetta was an affordable bubble car of the 50s considered a classic. Apparently, in the 1960s a gentleman called ‘Klaus-Günter Jacobi helped his best friend flee East Germany by smuggling him across the Berlin Wall in a modified Isetta’. More on the true story is here. Since automobile brands of this category evoke passion and loyalty among its consumers such stories will go a long way in brightening the halo around the brand.

Agency: Jung von Matt.

Spoke: fashion brand – identity and outdoor

Aside from the superbly written outdoor headline below, what caught my attention was the approach to the brand identity of a UK fashion brand Spoke. According to the agency the visual identity was more akin to modern tech product branding than a traditional fashion business. With product as the hero (much like Zodiac in India) and a slick minimal design the identity is a visual delight and cuts through clutter.

More on the brand’s visual identity and design .

Redmi: Diwali with Mi

With Diwali around the corner, several categories will get hyper visible in media. Mobile phones, aside from fashion & durables, is one category likely to be dominated by offers and discounts this season. A new film for Redmi from Xiaomi India highlights all this and more but in a fun way. I am unable to embed the video here for some reason but take a look here.

Agency: Schbang

Roff adhesive

In the 90s, copywriters in Indian languages were, to use a cliche, given step-motherly treatment in India. It was cool to be an English copywriter whereas the language writers merely translated and didn’t get much original work. All that changed with the popularity of television and FMCG brands using it as the primary medium. Homegrown and MNC brands which catered to markets beyond urban India developed original Indian language creative and with that there was some finesse and craft in scripts & copywriting too. Ads for Pidilite’s brands (with Fevicol being the most popular) are great examples of this.

Agency: Ogilvy

Air Canada: travel like a Canadian

National airlines by way of having the country name in them have a strong association with the ‘nation brand’. A new ad for Air Canada shows how Canadians, known to be polite go out of their way to make air travel pleasant. TV star Sandra Oh who is a Canadian, shows what it takes to ‘Travel like a Canadian’.

Agency: FCB, Canada

Hiltl: vegetarian

Sometimes, ads can convey deep meanings without any words. A new campaign for Hiltl, a vegetarian does just that with just a descriptor and logo.

Agency: Ruf Lanz, Switzerland

Jaguar Land Rover: green

A simple, focused fun spot to celebrate Jaguar winning the 2019 World Green Car.

Agency: Spark44

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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