7 top creative ads of the week: Keep it real online, Optimum and more

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For the past few years, I have attempted to share a few compelling creative ads with the audience of this blog. Once in a while I comment on issues pertaining to the advertising & marketing industry. Here are a few creative ads from New Zealand Government’s ‘Keep It Real Online’, Mars Petcare’s Optimum range and more.

‘Keep It Real’ online: New Zealand Government

Being a parent in today’s digital age can be challenging. Addiction to gadgets resulting in excessive screen time, reduction in interaction with real people, less time on outdoor play, potential exposure to age-inappropriate content are just some of the negative outcomes of the digital world. In a welcome initiative, the New Zealand Government has created ‘Keep it real online‘ a campaign to create awareness among parents on how to handle online bullying, age-inappropriate content, online grooming and more. The website has a factual, educative approach explaining terms such as catfishing and so on.

Groomers try to build an online relationship with the child though social media, chatting in a forum, chatting in an online game or via any other platform. Some groomers will use a fake profile (similar to catfishing) and pretend to be a young person.


The films however, take a different light hearted tone in a bid not to raise alarm but convey that such issues can be tackled through communication.

Agency: Motion Sickness

Guinness: Good things come to those who wait

The 1999 spot from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, titled ‘Surfer’ is considered one of the best expressions of the great tag line: ‘Good things come to those who wait’, cueing the act of waiting for a slow-poured pint of Guinness.

A recent campaign makes clever use of that brand asset by linking the global lockdown due to COVID-19 and our anticipation of what’s possible when the restrictions are lifted. Speaking of brand assets, another iconic visual is that of glass of the drink with the white froth on top. There have been several variations and expressions of that too, including speculative work.

Agency: Wings CLL, London

Air Wick: Brains in bloom

A creative idea is at the centre of many a memorable ad. A basic proposition of ‘telecom network that has a wide coverage’ was converted into ‘a network that follows’ you in a popular ad for Vodafone in India. But there are examples of ads that break through clutter thanks to their execution too – it could be a memorable jingle, a catchphrase, photography or visual effects. Here’s an ad for Air Wick which attempts to bring alive ‘How calm feels’ through some riveting computer graphics.

Agency: Havas

RBC: Dustin Johnson

The Royal Bank of Canada’s Golf Division has aired a commercial featuring golfer Dustin Johnson, currently ranked No.5 in the world. The brand tries to make a connect between them ‘seeing things differently’, just the way the celebrity does. While it may not be a refreshingly new perspective, I liked the way the idea is brought alive through some interesting computer graphics. In the agency’s words:

The only problem is you can’t swing a seven-iron without hitting an established financial brand in this space. To stand out from the crowd, who all walk, talk, and look the same, we took an approach as unique as DJ’s swing. We put a cinematic spin on the typical golf ad by working with A-list talent behind the camera, heightening the tension through visual effects and sound design.


Agency: Battery

ID: filter coffee

South Indian filter coffee has some die-hard fans, though it is a relatively lengthy process to make. In the age of instant-everything, ID Fresh Food has a filter coffee product which takes away the hassle. A new print ad demonstrates the process from the traditional process – pouring back and forth from a cup and a dabara (a small vessel) by using the medium well. Though asking the reader to hold the paper upside down has been done before the connect with the product brings a smile.

When held upside down, it would look like this:

Optimum: ‘Lucky you do’

The intent: convey that, when it comes to pets, it is important to deliver customised nutrition for each of their life stages. A new series of ads for Mars’ pet care range Optimum conveys that through simple, engaging commercials with the idea ‘pets don’t always know what’s good for them, lucky you do’. Variants such as ‘urinary care formula’ and ‘kitten formula with DHA’ are weaved in through some great copy and appropriate visuals.

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. See the rest of the ads here.

Cathay Pacific: Till we fly again

Travel & tourism brands, especially airlines, have it tough now due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and are likely to do so for some months to come. Many of them are investing in campaigns (Thai Airways for example) still in order to keep the brand awareness and stay relevant. Here’s a digital film for Cathay Pacific which ‘sees’ landmarks and visual associations of cities around the world through everyday objects which we are forced to stare at locked up at home.

Agency: Leo Burnett, Hong Kong

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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