Do people hate ads? While that seems to be the general perception, it can be argued that people only dislike or worse still, ignore bad ads. Creative ads – which break media clutter and convey a single minded message in a compelling manner through entertainment, humour or tapping into other emotions (such as fear as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic) create brand affinity. They can also be a competitive edge in a product or service parity situation. Here are a few ads which caught my eye this week:
Tourism Indonesia: waiting
The travel, tourism and hospitality industries were badly hit in 2020. Many of the players – be it hotels, cruises or country brands have begun campaigns this year urging consumers to get back to travel mode. New Zealand launched a quirky campaign to promote tourism within the country. A new campaign from Tourism Indonesia seems to be aimed at a global audience conveying that the country is waiting to welcome them. What holds one’s attention in the ad is the technique of pausing at key moments to dramatise the ‘wait’. The visuals and copy work together very well to trigger the crave for travel. Safety precautions are also cleverly weaved in (‘our care is waiting’) which makes the overall approach alive to the current context and concerns of travellers.
Agency: M&C Saatchi
Havells: feeling fan
It may seem like mere word play between ‘ceiling fan’ and ‘feeling fan’ but when you see it the context of IoT-enabled fans which can ‘sense’ the temperature in the room to adjusts its speed, it all falls into place. The plot anchored around two kids and the banter in Hindi makes it all very endearing. Lovely ad.
Agency: Mullen Lintas
Interflora: women’s day
It’s that time of the year again. Brands will aim to out-do each other to ‘connect’ with women. Most ads, if past experience is to go by will be full of platitudes, saluting women for their skills, sacrifice, multi-tasking and achievements. Many such topical and occasion-related ads (a variation of which is moment marketing) seem to stem out of FOMO – the temptation to do ‘something’ around an opportunity whether it is relevant to the business or not. Very often such communication has little or no relevance to the brand or category.
In this context, comes an ad from Interflora which aims to create awareness about gender inequality. While the topic itself has garnered visibility in media for years now, the visual idea which smartly weaves the product category makes the campaign a winner.
Agency: Rise at Seven
Skoda: every option
There are several reasons to love this ad from Skoda: it is anchored on a product feature, weaves a story based common, relatable human behaviour and is entertaining. A scuffle among car owners is often related to parking issues, scratches on the body of the car and such like. The ‘door edge protection’ feature of a Skoda comes in handy for couple, literally saving their lives from what seems like a tough neighbourhood.
Orange 5G: first steps
Sometimes, and rarely so, a film can be watchable even if it is not anchored on any insight or creative idea – the execution carries it through. Here is one such, for Orange network in France, where an exotic sound track (exotic for that market I mean) is likely to hold attention and get that ‘so cute!’ reaction aided by the casting of a toddler too.
Agency: Publicis Conseil
Nestle: Stop the world
I had to watch this film a few times to ‘get’ it. It visually captures the feeling of being sucked into the bottomless pit of social media scrolling and interactions across platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and more. The idea seems to be to convey that instead of mindlessly spending time on social media, enjoy the present with a Nestle. The product seems to be incidental but a visually mesmerising film nevertheless.
Agency: Gut, Brazil
Renault: the chase
I did not expect the twist in the end. Here’s a lovely 60-second spot that ticks all the boxes: focused on the product and drives home the point (no pun intended) that Renault Zoe is a popular car in Europe.
Agency: Publicis London
Watch the ad below and imagine it playing during the ad break in a live sports telecast or any other popular programme. Chances are it will be immediately noticeable as it breaks the flow and creates a mood which focuses attention on the brand. Loved it.
Agency: Havas, London
Unacademy: the greatest lesson
In India, no brand can go wrong with an ad which has a montage of cricketing moments from Sachin Tendulkar’s career. Many ads featuring him or clips from his sporting days have fallen flat or gone unnoticed. But not this one from edtech brand Unacademy because it is rooted on an idea and take a treatment route which is different from other ads featuring him: show moments of his failure first. Once that is done, the final crescendo is just goose flesh moment which helps to deliver the message: failure is the fuel of champions.
Agency: MullenLowe Lintas
One can say, a bit unfairly perhaps, that pet brands have it relatively easy as any showcasing of pets (be it cats or dogs) will evoke interest and get that ‘awww!’ response. Yet, they can’t afford to be lazy and create communication without an idea. Here’s a lovely idea for Pedigree ‘small dog’ variant summed up so well in the base line: ‘for the superpowers they think they have’.
Which was your favourite? Do comment in.