Volvo, Aviation Gin and more: creative ads of the week

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Every week I share a few compelling creative ads which caught my eye. This week’s compilation includes a stunt from Volvo Trucks, a TVC from Aviation Gin and more.

Volvo: The Tower

There is a tendency in advertising to announce the death of advertising every now and then. They’d like to portray some new fad, technology or platform as the ‘next big thing’ at the expense of what is considered traditional advertising. In my view, ‘new advertising’ is old advertising at heart as the fundamental principles of marketing communications have not changed and will not change – as human behaviour and instincts have remain unchanged for eons. Even some of the advertising techniques like product demonstration have been around for decades – both in the era of 30-second TV commercials and now in the long format web video era.

Volvo Trucks have adapted well to this change as demonstrated first in their ‘epic split‘ video and others. In the latest version, they launch ‘four new trucks by stacking them on top of each other’. What’s more, they place Roger Alm, the President of Volvo Trucks on top of them, during the ride, for added drama. Loved it.

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors

Aviation Gin: Arlene’s Big Leap

It is common for brands to create tactical communication linked to an event or occasion. It could be the Mars Orbiter Mission, Independence Day or Mother’s Day – brands just need a reason to put out ‘something’, usually in the form of a tweet, YouTube video or Facebook post. This year being a leap year presents yet another opportunity. Most such communication arises out of FOMO and the actual creative is usually forced or has little or no connection to the brand being advertised. I am also unclear as to what the ROI of such initiatives are both in terms of improving affinity or sales.

Of course, there are rare tactical ads which are entertaining, relevant for the occasion and have a natural, strong link to the product. Here’s one such for Aviation Gin which tells the story of Arlene Manko who was born on Feb 29th, 1936 and will get to legal drinking age – 21, this year. Hilariously good stuff.

Department For Transport: It’s Everyone’s Journey

Disabled people are at a disadvantage in public transport systems. In countries like India many such modes of transport are not disable friendly. In developed nations too this problem is common: apparently in the UK, disabled people travel up to a third less, and one in four say negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from using public transport. Also sometimes disabilities may not be immediately visible to the eye. A new campaign attempts to educate travellers to change their behaviour and be more sensitive to the needs of disabled co-travellers.

The visual idea of using animal characters to cue a particular behaviour is interesting and attention grabbing.

Agency: VMLY&R 

McDonald’s: skip the dishes

The iconic M of the McDonald’s logo and even its food items from the menu – the burger, fries etc., have been used to create visual puns. When done well (and not force fitted) they bring a smile. Like this one.

Agency: DDB, Prague

Heineken: father & son

Father & Son, Keke and Nico Rosberg- who are F1 champions compete in this film on many tasks with the ‘winner’ getting to drive the car. The product reveal at the end – zero alcohol beer syncs well with the message: the better driver is the one who doesn’t drink.

Agency: Publicis

Jif peanut butter: gif vs jif

It’s nice when brands can wade in seamlessly into popular culture, especially when it is a profound debate: what is the correct pronunciation of GIF?

Agency: Publicis

KFC: Finger likcin’ good

The tagline ‘Finger lickin’ good’ has been associated with KFC for long. Here’s a compelling outdoor campaign to complement a new TVC.

Agency: Mother, London

Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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