It’s that time of the year when ‘best of’ lists are made. I have set out to share my picks of top creative ads of 2020. The first part of the list includes ads from Burger King, WhatsApp and more. Here’s the 2nd instalment of the list:
Nike: you can’t stop us
In popular culture, substance is always preferred over style. A well-designed magazine may help in breaking the clutter in news stands (it was a thing) but ultimately it is the quality of the content which will ensure loyalty among the intended target audience. Similarly, a poorly scripted but slickly produced movie may not win at the box office. In advertising too, it is always the central idea which matters. However, great execution is likely to lift the idea up and make it even more endearing. The ‘You can’t stop us’ ad from Nike is a triumph of execution. As many others have pointed out, the ad is an editing marvel. Apparently, 4,000 sports action sequences were researched and 72 of them were chosen to be combined into 36 split-screen moments. Incidentally the director, Oscar Hudson was also the one behind the famous commercial for Apple AirPods titled, ‘Bounce’.
Agency: W+K. It was part of my compilation from August 2020.
Barilla: Rooftop Match
Brands staging ‘stunts’ where a customer is surprised by fulfilling a wish is not new. In August this year, Barilla got Roger Federer to meet a couple of young girls whose video of playing rooftop tennis during the lockdown went viral. It was pure joy to see the smiles on the face of the two protagonists and the initiative was a welcome break from the bad news all around at that time. Even though the brand is not directly associated with the sport, a casual meal after the match brought in the brand connection subtly.
Agency: We Are Social
Honda Civic: feel more
Here’s another example of idea and execution coming together. The low driving position of the Honda Civic is presented as ‘closer to the road, more you feel’. But without the execution excellence and the director’s vision the idea would not have come alive.
Agency: W+K, London
Bird Brain Energy: brain farts
Energy drinks bring in associations of high adrenaline, montage of sports visuals. Bird Brain’s (specially formulated to enhance cognitive function, improve focus and boost motivation) irreverent humour is a clutter-breaker.
Agency: HellHorse. This was part of my weekly compilation from July 2020.
Thai Health Promotion: Replacing Alcohol Bottle
As I mentioned in an earlier post, advertising from Thailand is unique in many ways. To combat the ills of alcohol addiction, the concerned agencies have taken a humorous route. While the first one spoke in general terms a new set ads highlight the options of what can be done productively if one kicks the habit.
Agency: Leo Burnett
iPhone: Shot on iPhone by Academy Award® Winner Damien Chazelle
Apple has followed a simple ‘show and tell’ formula to showcase the camera prowess of the iPhone. The ‘shot on iPhone’ campaign simply put up jaw droppingly good images as proof instead of listing the tech specs. In a film to showcase vertical videos, instead of putting together a montage of visuals, the film is held together by a story of classic film genres being framed differently. The 9-minute film is director by Academy Award-winning Damien Chazelle.
Agency: TBWA Media Arts Lab
GoJek: the flow
Delivery services are common in urban centres now. The logistics of such businesses must be complex relying on technology and design to make it all work. GoJek is a hugely popular service in South East Asia. An anthem film brings alive the creative idea ‘life just flows’, with some mind bending camera and graphics.
Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors, Singapore
Setapp: Don’t Get Sidetracked
Humour is perhaps an under-explored route in advertising. Admittedly, not all categories, causes or objectives maybe be served well by making the ad funny. Setapp is a subscription based service which offers a curated set of cross-platform apps aimed at helping users solve specific task. The apps include categories such as Productivity, Maintenance, Mac Hacks and so on. A new campaign distills the benefit of a select few apps curated for specific tasks, as an antidote for getting sidetracked. The plots are exaggerated but help in engagement and driving home the point about the perils of being distracted.
Agency: Droga5, London
Kruger: unapologetically human
In the west, toilet paper and tissues category is a big one not just in terms of size but advertising efforts & spends too. Kruger, a Canadian manufacturer of tissue brands makes a compelling proposition: being human is messy and that’s OK – Kruger’s range will be there to clean up things. The category advertising has seen a lot of cliches to cue softness – puppies, babies and so on. It’s great to see a real, relatable interpretation of the product use in a ‘master advertising’ format for the range.
Agency: Broken Heart Love Affair
Asian Paints Shyne
‘Looks deceptively expensive’ is a great proposition for mid-priced brands. For those who don’t understand Hindi, which brings alive the idea through the eyes of a naughty kid who is in the habit of lying about his father’s ‘wealth’ which makes it easy for him to afford Shyne, variant from Asian Paints.
Which one was your favourite? Do share your views. Part 3 of this series coming up soon.