I was expecting to see surfeit of ads pledging support to the Black Lives Matter movement or something related to COVID-19 – either about social distancing or bouncing back once the crisis is over. Surprisingly, I noticed a handful of compelling creative ads from Sky Sports, ITV and a few others last week:
Sky Sports: The Comeback
Many sports themed films – from athletic footwear to energy drinks have a template of sorts. They have a montage of visuals cueing defeat or failure only to end on a high of winning. A new ad conveying the resumption of sports coverage on Sky Sports follows the same pattern but is riveting nevertheless. The linking of resumption of coverage to a comeback in sports seems apt. The film conveys a stirring, positive feeling – a much needed emotion given the surfeit of negative feelings over the last few months.
Agency: Sky Creative
ITV: Keep Talking
The frontline warriors fighting the war on the COVID-19 pandemic – mostly doctors and healthcare workers, have been featured in several ad campaigns. A new ad from ITV, with somem some charming copywriting says thank you ‘to the ones who keep us talking’.
Hedvig Hemförsäkring: it’s just stuff
‘Category cues’ are an unwritten code in every major category of advertising. Food brands should have a cut-away (called the product window) of glorious food or ingredient shots. Ads for tea brands would usually have the protagonist sipping the beverage with great satisfaction (often with eyes closed). The insurance category across the world has used fear as a motivator to get people to sign up – be it for health, home or life insurance. An insurance brand in Sweden has a contrarian take on the category. In a series of ads it portrays what seem to be ‘valuable’ stuff – a dress, a bicycle, a laptop – as ‘it’s just stuff’. I found the change in perspective interesting and even changing the mindset of consumers towards they perceive to be valuable possessions. In a way, it ties in with the mindset prevalent in current conditions where people have begun to value relationships more than material acquisitions. I particularly liked the snide reference to gadgets and our constant need to upgrade them: ‘Stuff Lite, Stuff Air, Stuff Pro’.
Bank of America: commencement
Actress Viola Davis lends the voiceover to another brand film meant to evoke hope. Brands are often accused of not walking the talk, but Bank of America announced recently that they are making ‘a $1 billion commitment over four-years to help local communities address the widening economic and racial inequality stemming from the pandemic’. In that context, conveying that commencement begins now doesn’t feel hollow. The Leonard Cohen quote: “There’s a crack in everything for a reason…how else can the light get in?” fits in beautifully towards the end.
Agency: Leo Burnett
The Fragrance Foundation: Fragrance Lasts
A non-profit organisation in the UK, The Fragrance Foundation, wanted to reinforce perceptions of fragrance as a high value purchase. I would imagine that perception already exists in the back of our minds, especially among those who seek premium and luxury brands. Even otherwise,, fragrance evokes deep emotions and memories in all of us – with associations which are personal and deep. An intriguing print campaign brings those ideas alive.
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.