John Lewis, NuBank, #NurtureYourCuriosity and more: 10 top creative ads of the week

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Every week I attempt to share a compilation of creative ads which caught my eye. Getting noticed is the first requirement of an ad – as otherwise, every other discussion in terms of creativity or efficacy is academic. Among the many hundreds of commercial messages we see everyday only a handful are memorable. Here are a few which I liked from the week ending November 15, 2019.

John Lewis: Excitable Edgar

Aside from big retail brands of UK, several brands in other categories and from other geographies which have been investing in the big-bang, showpiece Christmas advert for the last few years. However, the campaign from John Lewis has remained the most anticipated and perhaps the most popular of them all. Yes, other brands too have produced clutter-breaking work with some deciding not to use the usual cliches associated with Christmas. In this years advert, John Lewis takes the familiar yet effective approach of a much misunderstood protagonist who causes havoc initially only to charm everyone and win the day later. In terms of construct it is similar to the 2013 Christmas commercial from Apple. Anyways the John Lewis advert brings a smile and creates happy emotions which builds affinity towards the brand. As with previous years, the campaign’s elements are part of the merchandise and other activities which build engagement.

Agency: adam&eveDDB

NuBank: now you see

Nubank is a fintech brand from South America which attempts to position it as a refreshingly different alternative to traditional banks. The visual technique of portraying everyone as robot-like mannequins in a world driven by routine and the deep messaging of traditional banks which put profits over consumer needs is clutter breaking. The introduction of the brand through an actual human being drives home the contrast which the service seeks to provide.

Agency: Nubank Creative Lab

Mahindra Rise: Nurture your curiosity

‘Creative storytelling’ as a phrase is all the rage now as part of ‘new media’. But traditional advertising has always been about telling a good story. And such stories can be told in myriad different ways not necessarily through a format of problem and resolution. In this film, intrigue plays a crucial role as the viewer is left wondering about the presence of an astronaut in unlikely of situations and his gesture for a comfort break. When the penny drops it brings a smile and drives home the message:

Many kids are naturally curious and are always actively looking to explore and discover new things. Interest is what drives us to learn new things, which is why curiosity is essential. Through our FUTURise film, we are celebrating Children’s Day and nurturing the childlike nature within all of us, because why not it’s the inner thirst for knowledge which often leads to innovation

Source: YouTube

Agency: FCB Interface

DICK’S Sporting Goods: the new kid

As someone with experience in ad agencies, I could figure out the story line within the first few seconds. The merchandise inside a sporting goods outlet come alive to a beat as the doors shut for the night. A riveting film which places the product at the centre of the action.

Agency: Anomaly

Kotak 811: #DreamsInvited

According the founder and Creative Head of Cartwheel, this is a single shot ad. While the ad is dialogue heavy visually it drives home the point that the bank supports whatever dreams you might have. Undoubtedly, the actor Ranveer Singh carries the film through this superb dialogue delivery and acting.

Agency: Cartwheel

Manforce: Shut the phone up

‘Brand purpose’ is something every brand seems to be chasing nowadays. Sometimes, the core purpose seems to have a tenuous link to the brand promise and little or no relevance to the business. In the case of Manforce condoms, they have been consistently driving home the message of ‘safety’ through their ‘Shut the phone up‘ campaign. Aside from just a film, the campaign educates viewers on relevant legal frameworks and how to secure or delete private data from getting misused. Loved it.

Agency: ADK Fortune

Under Armour: story of will

If this film evokes a ‘wow!’ feeling it is do with the central theme itself rather than of the execution. Which is perfectly fine as the film doesn’t set out to be a typical adrenaline-pumping advertising full of claims but creates awareness about a Women’s Ice Hockey team in country not known for that sport. The fact that they trained on frozen lakes (since there are no ice rinks) and then went on to win a bronze at an Asian tournament brings alive the ‘will power’ story.

Agency: Dentsu Webchutney

Veg Power: eat them to defeat them

This film was released earlier this year but I have included it in this week’s compilation as an example of strategy and creativity coming together. The task was to tackle rising childhood obesity and inspire kids to eat more healthily. The strategy was to portray vegetables as evil monsters which are taking over the world and in order to defeat them, the kids ought to eat them.

Agency: Adam&eveDDB

Royal Marine: spider

Years ago when I joined advertising, a recruitment ad for the US Marines was one of the first I saw in an agency showreel. Years later, another advert for the Royal Marines takes forward the same idea of how ‘nerves of steel’ and extreme focus set apart them from the rest.

Agency: adam&eveDDB

Novartis: tame your migraine

This advert to highlight the effects of migraine was shortlisted for the best use of ‘sound design’ at the Shots Awards Europe 2019. You can see why.

Agency: Havas/Lynx

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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