AirPods Pro ‘Jump’, Dulux’s ‘meteor’ and more: creative ads the week

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‘People read what interests them. Sometimes its an ad’ is part of a famous quote by advertising legend Howard Gossage back from the 1950s. We can extrapolate it in today’s context to cue that people would watch (or ‘engage with’ shall we say?) what interests them. Clutter-breaking creative ads are hard to come by; here are a few including AirPods Pro’s ‘Jump’, which caught my eye the last week:

Apple Air Pods Pro: Jump

As I have said earlier, the hallmark of ads from Apple is that they are anchored sharply around the product. Even when the product in question is not shown at all – for e.g. the ‘Shot on iPhone’ series of outdoor ads do not show the phone at all but undoubtedly showcase the ‘benefits’ of owning one. Since its launch, ads for AirPods have visually dramatised ‘wireless freedom’ across several campaigns. The visual language and subliminal cues have a consistency and continuity which cannot be missed. A new spot literally takes off from where ‘Bounce’ left off, effortless showcasing the product in use.

Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

Dulux: meteor

‘Stain-resistant’ is a common pay off in the wall paint category. In 2021 this claim seems passé and hence an ad centred around it has to rely a lot on presenting it in an interesting context and good execution. That’s where this new film for Dulux delivers – relying on humour to drive the point home. The comparison of a meat ball about to hit a wall is likened to a meteor and the antics of the characters add to the memorability.

Agency: Mullen Lowe, London

Guinness: St. Patrick’s Day

The black glass of Guinness with the froth on top is an iconic image in the food & beverage category. Over the years many ‘set ups’ have been created to resemble a glass of Guinness (a bunch of smartphones stacked on top of each other for example). In order to encourage responsible drinking on St. Patrick’s Day in New Zealand (where one can enjoy a drink in a pub even in these times), posters with QR codes have been put up. When clicked they point to the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 page reminding one of safety standards to be maintained.

Agency: Special Group New Zealand

NatWest: tomorrow begins today

It is very difficult to make young people imagine a situation in the future where one might face a situation of financial difficulty. Brands in the insurance category have faced this perennial problem – it is difficult to portray a stage in life in the distant future. In that context I liked the how NatWest has personified ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’ in an ad through a simple visual device.

Agency: The&Partnership London 

Sottish Widows: gender pension gap

How do you bring statistics alive so that a problem is defined a lot more powerfully? Here’s an example: women in their 20s today are on course to retire with £100,000 less in their pension plan than a man of the same age. This fact is brought alive by conveying that it is equivalent of women starting out in their careers at school going age. Loved it. The ad points to a landing page where one learn about what can actually be done.

Sheba: reserved for cats

Pet food advertising is rife with images of ‘oh-so-sweet’ pets which evoke the right reaction among owners. Cats are perceived to be lot more choosy and aloof (when they choose to be so) compared to dogs. ‘Fine dining for cats’ is a brilliant positioning for Bistro, a premium range of cat foods from Sheba. Visual cues from upscale dining establishments (including the ‘ESTD 2021’ bit) make it clutter-breaking in the category.

Agency: AMV BBDO

BlueStar Air Cooler: winter in summer

Celebrity endorsements is common in advertising. Advertisers see it as a safe bet and good ROI as the use of celebrity is seen as a route to create awareness. Some see it as a lazy option as the creative execution in most cases is a boring, talking head endorsement often of products which have no relevance to the celebrity. Casting the celebrity as a character in an interesting story line is also an option which is effective if the script is good. A new ad for Blue Star Air Coolers in India casts cricketer Virat Kohli as himself in an ‘ad’ for the product itself. It reminded me of the classic TV spot for Alka Seltzer, made in 1969.

Agency: FCB Interface

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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